THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 2008 |
Once again an MC works with a label that he should’ve worked with before. Although it took another label dropping him in order for it to happen, it’s worth the wait. 11th Hour, the new album from Del the Funky Homosapien, finds itself on the premiere indie-rap label Definitive Jux after Del was let go by Elektra. Like the recent release of Mike Ladd’s for European-ears-only Nostalgiator, 11th Hour is the perfect album for anyone who only knows Del’s voice through work with Handsome Boy Modeling School and the Gorillaz’s “Clint Eastwood.”
Self-produced and featuring only a couple of guest appearances, Del’s first solo album in eight years takes your ears on a journey into his world and never lets you go until the last track (which is what any good artist should do). From 1980’s throwbacks to “Naked Fonk,” Del’s beats are tight, to the point and never wear out their welcome.
His fascinating, audibly pleasing and enticing voice would not mean anything when not coupled with his witty, intelligent and mature lyrics. Del covers everything from people who talk too much about other people’s business (“I’ll Tell You”) to people who think they’re better than they really are (“Bubble Pop”) to how to keep your head high when others try to bring you down (“Situations”). These are topics that might seem cliché, but the most important things in life are © Chuck Klosterman.
Despite a lull through the mid-section, 11th Hour is a solid listen from start to finish. It sustains a laid-back and easy mood throughout, which makes it perfect for background music during a night in with friends. If you’re not into Del now, in the words of one song, why are you “so damn slow man/No one’s gonna hold your hand.” – Stephon Johnson