Album Review: A$AP Rocky 'A.L.L.A'
Mon, 25 May 2015 21:57:18
Harlem rap icon’s long-awaited sophomore effort is flawless in every way.
"Bow your head the most high's around," A$AP Rocky raps on "Holy Ghost" [feat. Joe Fox] the opener of his incredibly anticipated second full-length album, A.L.L.A. (At Long Last A$AP) [A$AP Worldwide, RCA Records]. Produced by Danger Mouse, the eerie opener bleeds into a solemn declaration towards the end, I got my own relationship with God." These words prove chilling this early on, setting the tone for the rapper's best work to date and the year's most powerful hip-hop album. That spirituality circulates throughout the DNA of the entire record. It's punctuated by the ominous and woozy psychedelic production and his mind-blowing wordplay. You'll hear it on "Canal St." [feat. Bones] where he literally pulls you into his strut down the road, etching out a vision around him.
The Jim Jonsin-produced "L$D" redefines "trippy" with its airy guitars resonating throughout the beginning as Rocky admits, "I dream about her all day." It's more evocative of Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock than the Wu-Tang Clan, and that's what makes it so special and searing. The vocals reverberate with a dark dreaminess that'd get Jim Morrison thinking (and smoking). "Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2 (LPFJ2)" sounds even more vibrant and vivacious when following the airy "JD."
Listen to "Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2 (LPFJ2)"
However, its "Jukebox Joints" [feat. Joe Fox x Kanye West] that really breaks down walls, matching resounding gospel vocals with an undeniable refrain before spiraling into fifties-style vocal harmonies.