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Time: Line

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Audio CD, December 22, 2009
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Time: Line + City Lights Volume 1.5 + Connected
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 22, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nicolay Music
  • ASIN: B000ZLNQ4Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,144 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Time:Line
2. Blizzard
3. The Lights
4. Through The Wind
5. What We Live
6. I've Seen Rivers
7. Tight Eyes
8. As The Wheel Turns
9. The Gunshot
10. Grand Theft Auto
11. When You Die
12. Dancing With The Stars

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By The Homey on February 19, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I must say, Nicolay is a force to be reckoned with. If you've never heard of this extremely talented producer before, then it's time to do your musical homework. Dating back to 2004, this Netherlands native teamed up via internet with Little Brother's Phonte Coleman as "The Foreign Exchange" to collaborate on the critically acclaimed "Connected", an eye-opening hip-hop album featuring unique vibes and stellar lyricism. After that, Nic's exposure to the masses quickly grew with "City Lights", "Dutch Masters Vol. 1", "Scion v. 13", and "Here", not to mention other various work that expanded his ever-growing catalog (Primeridian's "Hang On" remix, Supastition's "Yesterday Everyday" and Darien Brockington's "Sacrifice" for example), making him very versatile as a musician.

Now with 2008 upon us, many fans are still anxiously awaiting for his sophomore effort from Foreign Exchange and his second volume of Dutch Masters. Since the launch of his new label last year (Nicolay Music Recordings), "Time:Line" is his first official independent release. Similar to "Connected", Nicolay shares the boards with Houston rapper Kay in a conceptual journey through the time of one's life: birth, death and afterlife.

"Time:Line" - The intro of the album with Kay pretty much describing himself, which sets the tone for the rest of the album. The arrangements sound like it could be used for a Gnarls Barkley track.

"Blizzard" - Full of old school vintage, I could see the hip-hop duo Camp Lo spittin' over this funky tune. Toby Hill adds some nice vocals as Kay describes his birth and childhood nostalgia.

"The Lights" - The life of a struggling superstar caught up in the sensationalism and hype of being famous, now slowly succumbing the pressures of drugs and materialistic gain.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By P. Cusick on October 21, 2008
Format: Audio CD
As the 1990's post-grunge era was usurped by boy bands and Britney, it seemed for a while that hip-hop might be music's only hope. Evidently, the hip-hop bubble burst. From 2005 to 2006, hip-hop/rap sales collapsed an alarming 21 percent. In fact, no hip-hop/rap album was among the top 10 sellers of the year for the first time in 12 years. Wherefore art thou, hip-hop?

In a commercially-woven "rapestry" fixated on bejeweled, Bentley-driving blingsters with infinitely more money than sense, the genre has - in large part - become more a celebration of bombastic cliché than a collective of sublime creativity. Where NWA and Public Enemy painted groundbreaking, original pictures of an urban reality as yet unseen, today's pseudo-poets do little more than glamorize it for personal gain or product spin-offs, content with marketing to the lowest common denominator. Whew - I could use a Vitamin Water®.

But perhaps not all hope is lost. There is a largely unreported, parallel universe in hip-hop that does occasionally render a glimmer of hope. Living in this altered state are Dutch producer Nicolay and Houston-based MC, Kay. Their collaboration, titled Time:Line charts a semi-autobiographical character arch from life, to death and there-after.

Demonstrating a deft - if not sometimes heavy - hand for blending samples with live instruments, Nicolay lays a rich, musical foundation for Kay's lyrical rhymes. Kay's tone and cadence are at once fluid and assertive without being abrasive; his lyrics personal and vivid, but not above humor and self-deprecation. N & K aren't necessarily breaking any new ground with Time:Line, but what they have assembled is a competent, heartfelt collection that flows easily from start to finish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Norfeest VINE VOICE on September 22, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I'm a fan of Nicolay, so I'm going to cop pretty much anything with his name on it. That being said, Time:Line lives up to expectations in terms of production. Nic doesn't miss a beat. If anything he tightened up his board work since his last outing -- the short but sweet Here. The difference being that there are no meandering tracks and every last one of them is excellently produced.

In terms of production, it's not Nic's best work, but it's still dope. The problem, if you can call it that, is Kay. While he's serviceable over Nicolay's production, he's very by-the-book with it and, as a result, he has trouble holding the attention of this particular listener. I don't know, maybe it's because I prefer hearing Nic's beats without lyrics. His 2005 release, City Lights, Vol. 1.5, is near classic in my book if not a bonafide classic.

Time:Line is a nice listen. It was underwhelming in spots, but it's still purchase worthy. Nicolay is still true to form on the boards and Kay, while coming up short in the charisma department, does manage to hold the album down for the most part. I'd recommend checking out the samples to make sure he's your cup of tea. If he passes the sample test, then you're in for a nice ride.

Standout Tracks: Through The Wind, What We Live, Tight Eyes (My Favorite), Blizzard, and I've Seen Rivers
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alan Pounds on March 11, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This is only my second exposure to the up and coming Dutch producer Nicolay. If it weren't for Little Brother's Phonte teaming up with Nicolay on "The Foreign Exchange" album in 2004 (classic material), I would have never paid him any attention. Nicolay has one of the most diverse styles in the game today. When compared to other Justus League producer 9th Wonder, Nicolay's sound runs on a wider spectrum of styles, though is still settling in mostly 70s soul & jazz horn-heavy melodies. Though the inclusion of electric guitars, raggae and excellent keyboard sections adds greatly to the overall production.

Kay is a very good rapper, and adds a matching soulful flow to compliment the production. With that said though, he isn't quite spectacular enough to call this record a the production over powers his skills. Standout tracks include the guitar driven "Blizzard", the atmospheric "The Lights" with simply soothing background vocals from Nicole Hurst; "Through the Wind" boasts one of Nicolay's most infectious beats and Kay adds some excellent lyrics to match. The horn-filled "What We Live" stands out nicely. "The Gunshot" tackles raggae styled production excellently with the Fu-Schnickens' own Chip Fu making an appearance. "Grand Theft Auto" is also one of my favorites here, which features some of Kay's best lyrics.

On the whole, Nicolay & Kay turn out an excellent full-length virtually free of flaws. In all honestly, Kay is the reason this doesn't get the 5-star rating from me, since Nicolay's production is classically banging throughout. Simply put, Kay is no Phonte. Even still, don't let that deter you from checking out one of the best hip-hop albums of 2008.
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