Written By Simon Chisholm
I’m not a huge rap fan. Most of the hip hop we are bombarded with on the mainstream is about clubbing and ‘bitches’ and the whole thing just makes you ill. Steve Liriks’ LP ‘Pardon Me I’m Going Thru A Phase’ was recommended by fellow ‘What I’m Listening To:’ Reviewed Chaz Knapp, who also contributes to the accompaniment. Steve Liriks has created a rap/ hip hop album that is easy to listen to, and does not leave the listener wishing death on anyone who takes part in the making of ‘beatz’ and ‘spitting lyrics’.
The first thing I notice about Steve Liriks’ music is that its not a conventional four-on-the-floor back beat. There is actually some substantial instrumentation in the loops. The beats are groovy, using swing, and laid back feels; accents are syncopated. The beats aren’t overly complicated, they are only busy enough to serve their purpose, lay down the groove and keep the track flowing.
The instrumentation is fun. You get the impression that he’s spent time playing around and having fun with synthesizer sounds and effects. The fact that the sounds used aren’t conventional in a mainstream sense makes them interesting. The opening track has that futuristic sound typical of oscillating whirring synth sounds, and sawtooth leads. The accompaniment isn’t only electronic, there are some cool acoustic drum beats as well. Also, Chaz Knapp contributed some accompaniment arrangements for a couple of tracks.
Lyrically, Steve tackles themes including social commentary, dream chasing, philosophic life lessons and serious world issues. Setting him apart from a lot of rappers is his seriousness in lyric writing; Steve is not joking around, he is not trying to funny. Something that I admire in Steve’s performance is the high level of difficulty in which the syllables are phrased. The rhythm and phrasing of the words perfectly flows with the groove and is delivered with extremely clear articulation and diction; and he takes breaths somewhere in there too.
As an added bonus, “Pardon Me I’m Going Thru A Phase” is a free online release. You can download it here:
My favourite track is ‘World Ends’. For it’s message and the dramatic instrumentation and arrangement. This track is a fulfilling way of finishing the album.