featured REVIEW

Eligh Last House On The Block Eligh Music • 2018

It used to evolve around aesthetics. Around the beauty of beats and lyrics. But after years of addiction woes, 40-year old Eligh Nachowitz has added an extra mission for his music: 'the desire to heal people.' In a recent interview the Living Legend -you also know him of G&E, 3MG's and Grand Tapestry- claimed: 'I want to let you know you're not alone. I want to help you get clean.'

Thus on 'Last House On The Block', Eligh sprinkles with advice and gives pats on the back while leading the listener through life experiences. 'Truly OK' talks on the merits of just being fine, rather than yearning for kicks of instant happiness: 'All I really wanna be is OK, in the present tense, ..., no dope, no herb, no alcohol.' Sounds too emo? That's the purpose. 'I'm emo to the bone', he manifests in 'Thursday Child'.

Underneath the stories there's this sense of 'it can go wrong every minute'. Addiction is lurking behind the corner, like the shadow on the album cover. The 'last house' in the album's title, stands for the last station: a rehab centre, jail or gutter. Yet it can be the ultimate chance to get back up.

Sombre yet hopeful.

A motivating track is 'Focused'. The music -vivid bassline and euphoric strings- supports the uplifting lyrics by dynamic duo Zumbi ('I hope you soke this. Keep your spirit floatin.') and The Grouch ('Burn in the flames or rearrange your frames.').

'Jr High Love' shows Eligh's skills as a songwriter. Turning abstract feelings into song themes and even elaborating it. The overwhelming feeling of falling in love for the first time is stretched to the general irrational, sometimes devious feeling of love. What is it anyway? Anyway it?s one of the many songs you can relate to. It seemed to inspire guest rapper RA The Rugged Man to write a homage to masturbation in a hilarious, recognizable (admit it!) way.

Besides the clever concepts, Eligh knows how to reflect the raw yet hopeful aura of the lyrics in his production. His sound has always been distinctive, but over the years, the Los Angeles native managed to carve it out. With an array of live instruments - a soothing sax, an aching cello, or a whining electric guitar- , steady vocals and lively drum programming, this album excels in rich, multi-layered beats.

'Pain On The Break', the nitty gritty single with The Grouch and a thumping electro break, jumps out of the overall sound. Leaning towards the electrified sound of 'Therapy At 3', Eligh's album with producer Amp Live.

Eligh's 15th album puts rap on a higher plateau. It's an adventurous, mystical music journey with much to discover stylistically and lyrically. It holds a distinctive sound with a message poured in through different clever concepts. The record distresses but motivates, alerts but comforts. 'Emo to the bone'.

POSTED ON 09|25|2018 by cpf

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