Hip Hop Album Reviews (11/2016)

Dark Light Tablets

DARK LIGHT TABLETS

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An album by Pruven

Review presented by Warren Peace

Listen to “Dark Light Tablets” by Pruven

Any artist(s) interested in having a review done should check out the offers provided by The Write Reviews or contact The Write Reviews.


THE INTRO

It is unusual for me to hear an album and feel compelled to be the one to write the review after hearing the album front to back for the first time. The reason I say this is because I feel every one of the people behind the pens that write the reviews for this website are more than capable of writing a review that matches or surpasses the reviews I write; however there are times when I feel one of our writers pairs perfectly with an album for one reason or anothet and after hearing Dark Light Tablets the first time through, I immediately felt that I can provide Pruven with the review that will help him grow as an artist the most.

That being said, I was pleased when Pruven presented The Write Reviews with an album to breakdown, and more pleased once I hit play on Dark Light Tablets. What is it about the album that has drawn me in? Just check out the review below to find out…


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CHECKS & BALANCES

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THE ALBUM

1- Dark Light Intro

Nothing much to say here; Pruven has a couple seconds of talking and that’s it. Delivering the definition or ideology behind the phrase “dark light tablets” would have added to the album or given the album more of a proper intro for the audience.

2- Fire Starter Equipped

I like the intensity built into the beat. Pruven begins both verses with a timely flow and a great delivery, but around the halfway point of each verse, after his rhyme schemes hit short-lived rapid fire stretches, his timing gets ever so slighly off course. This is especially noticeable in the second verse. He displays an impressive vocabulary, but he’s likely to lose the audience by touching on a broad range of topics from one bar to the next. The first half of the opening verse is where he is at his best, and where he will find his audience being pulled into the music. The wording and delivery of the hook would’ve benefitted the track more if it matched the aggression of Pruven’s opening bars. With a good portion of the content seeming to attack other rappers in general, the hook’s laid back delivery and phrasing will throw listeners off.

3- Toxic Anger Release

The hook pairs really well with the music
Most might feel it’s too repetitive, but I feel it captures the essence of the instrumental very well. There are a few bars that catch my ear and Pruven’s presence is pretty solid behind the microphone. It’s hard to determine if Pruven is venting through his lyrics, discrediting the skills of other rappers, or a little bit of both because he falls of course within the content enough times to cover the audience with a canvas of confusion.

4- Sun Ra

The number of topics Pruven touches on during “Sun Ra” is staggering, and very little of those lines relate to jazz, which is brought up in a clip that opens the track, or Sun Ra, which is the title of the track. Pruven’s vocabulary is fantastic, but if the audience isn’t able to follow along during the first listen then don’t expect them to listen a second time. The attention span of people has been proven to be more than short after a steady decline the last few years, and with only a small window of a few seconds to catch the interest of anyone willing to listen, artists need to use their vocabulary in a manner that’s fairly easy to follow along with while sticking to the subject matter with every single bar they spit on a track.

5- Started In Africa

“Started In Africa” begins with a clip of conversation regarding racism. Pruven begins dropping lines as the clip concludes, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the audience becomes lost or confused by hearing lines like “the planet all started in Africa” without an explanation or any further discussion to give them understanding. He also makes many references to the “powers” that run America, especially in the second verse, which causes me to wonder what that has to do with Africa or racism? I’m not saying there isn’t a connection; I’m saying the audience is going to wonder what those connections are and Pruven isn’t providing any answers.

6- Remain Learning

“Remain Learning” leaves me with the same confused feeling I was left with after hearing the previous tracks. For example, the hook for “Remain Learning” is motivational and encourages listeners to get up and do something with their lives, yet most of the bars Pruven spits are centered around ripping into emcees and violent acts committed against the less intelligent and talented. Doesn’t seem to be a connection, does there?

7- Dark Light Interlude

An intermission for the audience comes forth in the form of “Dark Light Interlude”, which consists of an instrumental playing through the speakers for one minute and eight seconds without any changes, scratches, or dubbed lyrics integrated in the music.

8- Conduct of Code

When it comes to staying focused and elaborating on a topic, “Code of Conduct” is easily Pruven’s top performance up to this point of Dark Light Tablets. I’m not a fan of the lackluster delivery presented with the hook. His flow is brought to the audience in a well timed manner for the majority of the track, and his delivery seems to lack emotion but definitely doesn’t leave out his confidence behind the microphone. This is a track Pruven can build off of and look at to develop his skills.

9- Glimmer of Light

I have admit, during my first listen of Dark Light Tablets, when I reached this part of the album I expected “Conduct of Code” to be the pinnacle of this collection of tracks. Not only does Pruven’s “Glimmer of Light” surpass the previous track, this group of tracks is the reason for my words in the introduction. Pruven still has the confidence in his flow on this track, but also adds a little more swagger in his voice while keeping near perfect timing with his flow. Also, on “Glimmer of Light” there are a few random shots at other hip hop emcees in general, which has seemed to distract Pruven from the topic of a track in previous songs. Pruven doesn’t make that mistake on “Glimmer of Light” by finding a way to spit those stray disses in a manner that stays in line with the subject matter of the song. This is where he begins separating himself from the ‘novice’ (for lack of a better term) emcees and lets us know his true potential.

10- Conscience Over Commerce

Pruven decides to go without a hook on “Conscience Over Commerce” and sticks to spitting straight bars. This is a fresh switch up from the norm, and aids in keeping the audience locked in for the final few tracks of the album. Pruven is on topic throughout this track as well, and begins showing an important consistency in that department. The track’s title sums up the content exactly. There’s a couple times when Pruven says a word or phrase without fully defining what his message is or developing his thought completely for the audience, but most listeners won’t notice or will be able to think it through since Pruven doesn’t waver from the topic.

11- Colorful Canvas

I understand the concept of “Colorful Canvas” and enjoy the creativity paired with the originality behind it. Pruven has a fairly smooth flow and continues his confident delivery while incorporating some well written metaphors and issues that are relevant to the world as we know it. If I were to have any complaints (besides the lack of wordplay, but I think nearly every son in hip hop should have some kind of wordplay…just kidding, but seriously) about “Colorful Canvas” then I would say Pruven painted the canvas a little too colorful. As I mentioned earlier in the review, touching on too many topics during the course of a track can cause confusion with listeners and make it practically impossible for the audience to relate on an emotional level. Finding someone to replay a track that falls under one of those two things is hard, but finding someone to replay a song with both of those things just isn’t going to happen.

12- Emeralds Raining

The conclusion of Dark Light Tablets is short and simple. Although I don’t feel like this ending adds much to the album, it does bring a little knowledge to the audience and has something to do with the theme of Dark Light Tablets.


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RENAISSANCE MAN

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FEATURED TRACKS

Glimmer of Light and Conscience Over Commerce


THE WRITE UP

If given a chance to work on a personal level, Pruven is exactly the type of emcee I would enjoy working with to help improve on the skills he already possesses, expound upon his talent, refine his writing, and reach the goals he has for himself. Not only is his intelligence displayed in his lyrics, but the topics he touches on also tells me about his willingness to learn. His flow might be a little choopy in some areas, yet you cannot deny his rhythm and confident presence behind the microphone.

Dark Light Tablets has several positives to be found during the course of the album besides the ones listed above. The concept behind the whole project is nothing short of interesting. Pruven’s project has a message, and regardless of how you would grade the performance or delivery of the message, he managed to get his message across by the end of the album. Most of the material is enlightening and intellectual, which is very important in the current hip hop universe. Also, Pruven provides a well calculated amount of material; he doesn’t fall short of getting his thoughts on the idea behind the album across to the audience, but he also doesn’t repeatedly touch on the same issues or beat a dead horse by having 24 tracks on the matter. Many of the areas he could improve upon or ‘tighten up’ have been listed above. One thing I have mentioned much, because there wasn’t much to mention, is the lack of wordplay and how Pruven could use that element to add to his songs’ replay factor as well as giving some depth that isn’t sitting at the surface. Dropping content that is relatable, especially on an emotional level, is so important that I can’t stress it enough. I think it’s great that Pruven did something else that very few artists do these days, which is make a complete album without having any featured artists, but I thought I should mention how having featured artists can help freshen things up for the audience by providing a different delivery to an album. Depending on his theme and overall sound for his next album, he might want to consider having an artist or two chime in, even if it’s just on a hook.


STAR STATUS

⭐⭐

(2 out of 5 stars)

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