I'm not intimate enough with rap and hip-hop to know what all the classifications and sub-genres are, although I'm certain that they must exist. Hell, every other style of music has them. But if there isn't one called "art rap," or how about "art hop," then I am creating it and putting Eyeday and Abilities on the list. I'm not just talking about the packaging and artwork that comprise the CD either, though it is excellent.
This isn't a CD you are going to throw on at a dance party. None of the songs feature big, butt-shaking rhythms, and the raps aren't collections of clever rhymes and shout-along choruses. This is like dictation from a poetry slam event set to music influenced more by Sonic Youth than James Brown. Darkness reigns in the stories of bad relationships ("Spin Cycle"), drug abuse ("Junk"), and social commentary ("Smile"). No one will call this feel good music!
Five or six spins are not enough to digest this record, and the listening experience is difficult to pin down. Fans of free verse poetry and slightly electronic-based music will likely find Eyedea and Abilities particularly intriguing.
Eyedea and Abilities plays the Palace Sunday, Jan. 31, at 9 PM with Dosh and Onry. $8.