Canadian musician Danny Lover blesses us with his latest full length project; ‘The Church Restaurant Official Soundtrack’ is a ten-track release fresh for 2017, and he partners once again with prolific underground British label Blah Records for the LP. Danny’s eclectic, experimental style has won him the attention of listeners across the globe, and this project is sure to capitalise on and further increase the stature he already enjoys.
The eery piano keys that punctuate the off-beats on ‘Secrets’ are a masterful touch on an early reminder of Danny’s super-swagged out style. The raw, slurred vocals are effortlessly delivered over the under-water vocal samples and shuffled drums, and the Blah Records MC exhibits his truly unique technique the whole way across the LP. Revered Sheffield lyricist and Bad Taste Records representative Trellion appears on the gorgeous, soulful ‘Skinny Pimp’. Lover and Trelli are both renowned for their super-slow flows (if you’re not a fan, Danny’s calling you out on here), and the smoked-out vibe is expertly handled.
The rising trend in cinematic, subtle beats with no drums is a welcome new tradition in hip-hop, and Danny seamlessly delivers his vivid lyrics on a simplistic string-based production on the emphatic ‘Lex’. It’s not easy to make this sound so fluid, and it’s a true testament to the Canadian spitter’s ability and natural charisma that this is one of the album’s finest. ‘Rare Nirvana’ features fellow Blah heads Salar and Lee Scott, and the witty, sing-a-long chorus is partnered with verses packed with banging punchlines from the dope line-up of MC’s dropping with precision over a dreamy instrumental. The penultimate tune ‘Rose Garden’ is a mellow, jazzy number; the dusty drums, gracious sax and melodic vocal blend to make a stunning cut in the closing stages.
The consistent, absorbing vibe on ‘The Church Restaurant Official Soundtrack’ makes the album wonderfully hypnotic; Danny commands a great vocabulary, and encompasses vivid imagery, slick punchlines and a charismatic demeanour that makes this latest release a resounding achievement. Blah Records have done it again, and with a few more months left in the year, the prolific label is bound to have a couple more things up it’s sleeve.
By Sam Bennett
Blah Records has been making moves as of late. Of course, the legendary record label owned by Lee Scott and Reklews has been putting out forward thinking, authentic and raw hip hop since its inception, but the resurgence in recent years is refreshing to say the least. ‘My Best Friends Keep Dying’ is the debut release from Canadian rapper Danny Lover; it’s also the second Blah release from an artist not based in the UK, after New York rapper Darkstar’s 2011 ‘The Last Beginning Of The End’ EP. Posthumously produced by 19.thou$and in its entirety, the trippy, slow paced instrumentals with unique sample choices coupled with Danny Lover’s emotional delivery and witty lyricism make for a dope project.
With the haunting, somber mood created by the guitar samples and restrained, subtle drum beats guaranteed to keep your head nodding, Danny Lover’s personal approach really makes you pay attention to both his writing and his emotion, which is conveyed effectively and powerfully on the fantastic opener ‘Singapore’. Danny’s unique approach and palette for instrumentals with an experimental feel definitely make ‘My Best Friends Keep Dying’ an exciting and continuously interesting album; he doesn’t stick to a played out formula at all on this project, not one bit.
‘Boo-Yaka-Sha’ features another Tarantino-esque guitar sample with dusty drums; the production on this album is cohesive, consistent and most importantly pretty damn incredible. Danny Lover’s stoned delivery makes for a slightly menacing feel on this standout track. ‘Jesus’ is a soulful affair with a well executed concept, witty yet moody lyricism and nicely structured bars.
‘That Thunder’ is an exceptional closer. The self-deprecating, honest approach over an infectious guitar sample and slow paced drums results in a moving love song to close an exceptionally unique album in fantastic fashion.
‘My Best Friends Keep Dying’ is an album I can’t recommend enough. It’s a project that is unique, skilful and it has a staying power that will linger long after the closing track. 19.thou$and’s instrumentals are perfectly suited to Danny’s approach and vocal style, and the organic vibe is consistent throughout; Blah Records have delivered yet again with a top quality release.
By Sam Bennett