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This Month's Issue

Reflection Eternal - Revolutions Per Minute
Thursday, June 17, 2010

Label: Blacksmith / Warner

A full ten years after their first album together, Train of Thought, Talib and Hi-Tek have finally delivered on their promise of another Reflection Eternal project. Revolutions Per Minute is a lush album, conscious and deft, giving you everything you hoped you might get from the pair.

Through a sort of intuitive synergy, the duo prove why they are a group, rather than a pairing like Jay-Z and R. Kelly. While all of the lyrics are tight and the production stellar, it's the way that they contract and expand on certain tracks without any sense of ego. In this way, both artists are able to shine.

Beyond the obvious singles like Strangers featuring Bun B, the tracklist offers a wide range of sonic landscapes. The Ballad of the Black Oil, a politically driven and lyrical track has dope rhymes like, "If you're oil rich, then we invadin'/ they call it occupation/ but we losing jobs across the nation/ drill baby drill/ while our soldiers kill." Lyrics on the following track, Just Begun, are particularly stacked with a loaded roster that includes Jay Electronica, J. Cole and Mos Def. This is good example of where Hi-Tek knows when to simplify his beat to highlight the lyricist.

Some of the interludes are grating on the nerves, especially upon repeat listens, but only one actual track stands out as an irritating exercise in being obnoxious. So Good features a repetative hook that bores right into your brain, even stopping conversations if it's played quietly in the background. Other than that, this album is a very hi kwelity outing.

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