Eibol – Karma Kingdom (CD)

“Karma Kingdom” starts off slowly, but when a track like “Ask ?’s” happens, one will start to see some of the enrgy that Eibol brings to the mic. The track is not just someone rapping, but really couching all the harmony of the track in an incredibly hooky flow. The inclusion of a saxophone during the track provides a nice vocal-sounding retort to Eibol’s distinctive style. The major thing that distinguishes Eibol from the mass of other rappers out now is the fact that the raps seem more thought-out, more grounded in reality than the typical flow.

During a track like “Track 36 (Stars), there seems to be a meshing of Eibol’s own style with a contemplative, almost-ethereal (or house) type of backdrop. The incredible number of tracks on “Karma Kingdom”, seventeen in total, really give listeners a detailed story of Eibol’s life. This number is even more exciting given that Eibol does not fall into the pitfall that many other rappers do by putting in skits which detract largely from the momentum and quality of the actual tracks on the disc. The title track is another track in which listeners will be captured by the boatful; this time, it is not only Eibol’s flow that will win, but rather the bass-heavy backdrop that Eibol eirself comes up with for the track. While there are tracks that are not up to the quality that such hits like “Dedication” establish, there is no lack of solid tracks that will keep individuals listening throughout this disc’s fifty minute. Eibol is not a rapper that needs tremendous amounts of guest stars to maintain relevancy; the flow laid down on “Karma Kingdom” is enough for individuals to listen multiple times and still not get tired.

What does provide more in the way of excitement is the inclusion of horns on tracks like the aforementioned “Ask?” and “Rhythm”; in this, Eibol moves beyond the somewhat-limiting rap designation and into a genre in which there is only one artist: eirself. The fact that non-traditional backdrops are used on “Karma Kingdom” further establishes Eibol’s identity as an innovator instead of people just trying to ride on the coattails of giants. Songs like “A Song For Jake” seem to draw the listener back to the earliest days of the nineties; there is a feeling during this track that Eibol’s work would not be too odd on a movie like “School Daze”’s soundtrack.

Top Tracks: A Song For Jake, Ask ?s

Rating: 7.0/10

Eibol – Karma Kingdom / 2005 Fingerprint / 17 Tracks / http://www.eibol.net / http://www.fingerprint-records.com / Reviewed 13 November 2005

[JMcQ]

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