Hear The Track HereAn intense surge of paranioa rushed through me when I downloaded this track because the name Rustik rang severe bells with me and that's usually because of two things: the music was bad and I had to say so OR the music was good and I yadda yadda yadda. Luckily, and with the wonders of my filing system I tracked down Backpack (March 2010) and re-read the review - just in case. Towards the end I wrote that he was a 'real indie alternative to the artists I have mentioned' having gone off one on about the current lack of heart and soul in hip hop and R&B artists. For the life of me I can't remember the song that well, but I did like what I heard (but obviously not so much as to keep it). There again, this is an area of music that doesn't really give me too many keepers (talking about the slow, love and roses crap you hear so much).
Funnily enough I really like Eminem's new album and recognise that the man has raised the bar again, blending rap and song in a masterful way; I'm Not Afraid is a monster. Awkward Glow, although I am in no way saying that Rustik is an Eminem copyist, has much of the same qualities but - obviously - it has its rough edges, some of them more noticeable than others. Vocally, and this is also a big part of the song structure, suffers with slight pitch problems but not enough I would think to put anyone off, especially if you were used to a steady diet of unsigned urban music of all descriptions.
Awkward Glow is a good song, with a very decent rap; all set in a solid, workmanlike production which, although home produced, doesn't sound half bad at all. I've was off the Ipod when reviewing this and listening through the air (Ed: through speakers obviously, not even Gilmore is THAT clever) and I have to say it sounds way better that way than wearing headphones. Rustik definitely knows his stuff, and he's a strong lyricist ('spitting tunes to the key of lunacy sharp' for example), constructing songs that are both listenable AND danceable. Where I feel there is room for improvement is in final delivery, the polish that turns a really good track that launches it into another world altogether. So, this close, ya know? (holds finger and thumb slightly apart). Next time? I live in great hopes.
Highly Recommended New School hip hop.