Signor Benedick The Moor - SPIRIT REALM.FINAL
Feb 18, 2019
Presented as an epic odyssey in the same realm as his debut LP, El Negro, Spirit Realm.Final definitely has a similar versatility, with all of the creative energy which made that record so impressive. In this instance however, it does feel that his unhinged vocals and song structures have veered off the track of charming eccentricity and onto the tracks of carelessness and amateurism in places, perhaps taking notes from his comparatively joyless EP, Toybox, instead.

SB is undoubtedly at his best when he is rapping as his voice is really not strong enough to justify the high pitched crooning he attempts to pull off, and indeed being completely tuneless is a massive turnoff on some of the tracks presented here. This is a shame because his rapping and occasionally reggae and trap infected vocals can be just as compelling as his Deathbomb Arc contemporaries.

The production is also a mixbag of sorts, although this is a more positive aspect of the record. There are many compelling melodies and exuberant passages throughout, especially evident on the warped yet cohesive opening track 'Hidden Temple' or the explosive 'PAIN (SUN GOD)' - the best songs on the record are the ones that feel the fullest and in some ways even more conventional, since many of the oddities of the record seem to speck otherwise appealing foundations.

On the production side of things its the uneven mixing that makes this record feel a little rough around the edges, especially when paired with the questionable singing. However for an upstart, independent record like this one being rough around the edges is in some ways part of the enjoyment, especially in a record with so many different soundscapes and vocal styles on offer.

El Negro set a very high bar for SB since, despite its criminally unknown status, it was filled with levelled yet dynamic production, tight rapping, expressive vocals and meaningful lyrics. This album shares many of the same qualities but in comparison lacks the songcraft, polish and consistency that makes this brand of experimentalism much easier to swallow. For me, some more self restraint would have gone a long way.
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