Sound: On Joyful Rebellion (my #4 album of 2004) K-Os branched out far beyond his old school/breakbeat hip hop foundation to include reggae, r & b, swing and more. The results were stunning. On Atlantis he moves even further beyond his rhymin’ roots as rapped verses are actually less frequent occurrences than verses and hooks sung and crooned in either a soulful, spiritual, Caribbean, or folky style. Meanwhile, the music twists and turns in unexpected directions to incorporate things like a Motown bounce, rock guitar riffs, hippie jamming and dub-flavored echoes to name a few.
Look For: K-Os’ fellow Canadian artists contributing guest vocals on “Valhalla” (Kevin Drew from Broken Social Scene and Sam Roberts) and “The Ballad of Noah” (Buck 65).
Heavy Rotation tracks: “Electrik Heat – The Seekwill”
Medium Rotation tracks: “Fly Paper”; “Born To Run”; “The Rain”
Recommended: K-Os is a highly capable singer, but it is disappointing to hear him trim back on the rhymes so much. The constant blend of rapping and singing is what made Joyful Rebellion so exciting. Also, he impressively continues to shatter musical borders and invent new hybrid genres on Atlantis, but the songs don’t feel quite as focused or jaw-droppingly originally this time around. Regardless, you have to give K-Os massive credit for his limitless talent and fearless approach to music.