Review – Brinson – Escaping Me
Brinson's latest effort, Escaping Me, is quite an experience. As you audit its sounds and take note of its lyrical content, you'll experience a project that is full of life and refuses to cloak transparency. Inferred by its title, this CD exists to deal with the act of looking beyond ones self and the apparent realities of life as we know it to the true realities and undeniable cosmic order crafted by one far superior to any of us: the Author of Existence.
The first thing you'll likely take note of is the refreshingly clean sound quality evident in this venture. Escaping Me is sonically clear, each track is unique, and the instruments – whether electronic or not – are easily decipherable. This is a welcome attribute.
The second thing is the diversity and creativity of the beats and overall production. The "SuperBadd" remix boasts a delectably nasty flavor that will likely cause you to pause and take note. The velvet sounds of the title track, produced by J. Pierre, are totally delightful. Brinson-produced "What Should I Pray" is clearly a head-nodder with its West-coast rhythm. His dark melody in "We Need a Savior" puts his artistic courage and style-assortment on display. "Long as I live" is simply beautiful; and J. Pierre's concert-style intro in "Hello" sets the album off in expert fashion.
Thirdly, you'll notice that Brinson surrounds himself in this project with several solid recording artists who carry Escaping Me far beyond where it would have gone had Brinson been the sole writer and rapper. Among several talented artists, Knine, Jahaziel, Verses, Oppose, and ReadyWriter carry a good chunk of this CD. And the smooth vocals of Brinson's wife, Rossi, and Ryan Horton, help make Escaping Me what it is. As Brinson suggests on his first track, he's more of a preacher than a rapper, but his average lyricism & dubious delivery exhibit an admirable aptitude to compliment his abilities with the talents of others.
There are two songs on this project worthy of special recognition: "These Are Things" and "What Should I Pray." Notably, both of these pieces combine great production with meaningful, transparent lyrics that invite you inside the emotions and life experiences of its author. "These Are Things" is punctuated several times by an illuminating chorus: "These are things that keep me on my knees / sometimes life makes you grieve and force you on your knees // Father, have mercy on me and just hear my plea / deliver me from me, that old horrible me." Carried forward by a deliberate, lurching bass line, this tune makes real to listeners the challenges and pains that accompany a life of sanctifying trials. And "What Should I Pray" offers a neck-jerking beat under contemplative words. These lyrics acknowledge the "realness" people experience every day out there on the streets while simultaneously exposing eternal consequences to daily decisions.
So, rap fans who primarily appreciate sonic superiority and fantastic musicality expressed through quality production will love this album. Its sound is masterful and it's content is worthy.
Cats who purchase hip hop CDs solely to hear finely-crafted rhyme schemes, though, will probably be disappointed.
That said, the author of this review is glad Escaping Me is part of her stock.