3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A welcome return to form,
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This review is from: Yes! (Audio CD)
K-os created an absolute masterpiece with Joyful Rebellion, but his follow-up, Atlantis, was lacking in comparison. After an album where almost every track could have been a hit single but also contributed to a CD more than the sum of its parts, the handful of great songs and 60% filler on Atlantis was disappointing.
I am happy to report that his new album Yes!, while not quite hitting the heights of Joyful Rebellion, does get 95% of the way there. This is another great album from K-os and I can heartily recommend it.
For the uninitiated, K-os blends numerous musical styles, quite often in the same song. He raps and sings equally well, and does whichever combination is most appropriate for the song. He skips genres and styles like Beck in the late 90's, and his raps will appeal to fans of A Tribe Called Quest. Musically, he is organic enough for the average Mojo reader, often playing an acoustic guitar, and while he does include some cheeky samples, most songs are performed by a band.
He supported The Roots on tour and it's easy to see why... in fact if the early, not-so-hard Roots had listened to more punk rock, they might have sounded like K-os. He's a multi-platinum artist in Canada, but criminally underrated in the US, to the point that the CD has to be imported if you won't settle for MP3 files.
On to the music: mainly hip hop with some reggae, acoustic rock and a little dance thrown in, but most definitely identifiable as hip hop. The verses are generally rapped and the choruses are made up of very catchy lyrics, generally sung and usually very good for singing along to. K-os has a pop musician's ear for catchy choruses, and I found myself joining in with most of them. He's been very cheeky with the samples - the bass line from Nirvana's cover of Love Buzz and the hook from the theme to The OC are the most obvious, yet they never jar like they would when used by some lesser artists.
After two months of regular listening in the car and on the iPod, I am only now skipping two tracks on the whole album. There are very few albums in the last twelve months which hold up like this. If you enjoy music and are open-minded, this is one of the best albums of 2009.