Factor: Lawson Graham
The list of artists along with the hip hop foundation of Canadian producer, Factor’s second album, Lawson Graham is stifling alone. Artists such as Myka 9, Moka Only, Def3, Josh Martinez, 2mex and Ceschi each possess rhyme styles and song structures that would arrogantly annihilate most of what is heard on mainstream radio. Each artist’s unique approach uplifts the sonic opulence of lonesome acoustic guitar loops over hip hop beats, spiraling and spacey industrial rattling and pop rock standards. Sole and Radical Face dominate on the cowboy-esque tune, “Living in a Vacuum,” a moody, hip hop spoken word, stream of consciousness gem. On “Battle Scars,” Def3’s words stand solid over moody bass lines, ominous yet melodic keys and fuzzy guitar loops. “More Than Love,” is a charmingly buoyant tune with trippy drums and plenty of sun-baked appeal featuring Kirby Dominant, while “Oh Oh Andy,” featuring Nomad is a sugary straw sharing soda jam reminiscent of sappy sixties pop with plenty of chirping flutes and jangly drums. Recorded on June 6, 2009 a little over two weeks before the King of Pop, Michael Jackson’s death, Ceschi’s stunning “The Fall of Captain E.O.” figuratively equates the death of Michael Jackson to that of the demise of the music industry. Kinda spooky that Michael was alive at the time the song was recorded. Lyrically Ceschi warns of impending endings and still encourages strength. His is one of the strongest performances of many on the album that is merely flawless in production and artistry.