RATING: 4 CHET BAKERS
I first heard of Kyle Murdock after hearing his release of CrossRhodes, which was a joint effort between him, Wes Felton and Raheem Devaughn. While looking for information on the project, I stumbled across his site and contacted him to let him know how much I enjoyed it. From there we talked back and forth about various things, whether it's music, movies, games, etc.
Murdock came off as pretty real and down to earth. He didn't have that vibe about him where "who are you? I'm making music and am better than you" that you sometimes get from artists. He was even cool enough to do an interview with me, which you can read by clicking HERE.
So when I saw he had released Piano-Rama, I had to check it out. I've always been a fan of the piano, even if I can't play a single note.
There's something about the Piano that I've always dug. Whenever I hear a song that has pianos featured in it to solid effect, it's always a treat for me. Two songs that I recall the most that did this was Faith No More's "Epic" which has a nice brief piano solo at the very end, which if you've seen it probably remember for the fish flopping around out of water, and PM Dawn's "I'll Die Without You" which has an awesome piano solo in the middle of the song.
So I was anxious to hear this, and when I put it on it was not a disappointment. Kyle brought in a lot of guests that, at least to me, are not really well known. Aside from Wes Felton (who as I said was on the CrossRhodes projects) I hadn't heard of any of these except for Random. Yet that doesn't take away, and actually adds to it, because you're hearing these cats that you've never heard before, and it's a chance to be introduced to some REAL talent that hasn't been watered down by the industry.
Star Seeds feat. ParanormL was a nice kickoff for the album, nice production on this, although ParanormL's offkilter type rapping sort of threw me the first time I listened to it, as I listened to the track again and again, it grew on me and is definitely a solid track.
The Chosen feat. Megan Livingston was a nice smooth jazzy track, and Megan reminded me of Les Nubians at times. Her voice is perfect on this track along with the combo of the Pianos and Saxophone playing.
There's several instrumentals sandwiched between the other tracks, and my favorite has to be Instro-Lude #1 (Streisand). This is just an extremely "loungin'" type track. Something to just kick back and groove to.
Once I started listening to "A better Kiss Goodbye", featuring frequent collaborator Wes Felton and I have come to realize that Felton and Murdock have such a great rapport together, that any tracks they do together are bound to be hot. Almost like the vocals and the beats just melted into one, and it was a perfect marriage of sounds.
"Strangers are hard to find" featuring Green and Gold was also a very good track, which you can check out below:
"Gauntlet" was one of the standout tracks in my opinion. Random and Kyle's rhyming counterpart on Panacea, Raw Poetic's rhymes were on point and really elevated this song to a level above a lot of tracks out there right now. The production was tight, and overall this track was one that I had on repeat for about twenty minutes.
I recently picked up two releases by K-Murdock, this one and the instrumental release "Breaks, Rhythms and Loops" his instrumental release. For some reason I had the two mixed up in my mind, and thought the Piano-Rama was the instrumental.
So as I was getting ready to load it up to listen, I thought "wouldn't it be cool to have K playing the pianos and just having various MC's freestyle over it? That'd be DOPE!" The whole time thinking this was just instrumentals.
Then I listened and realized that THAT's PRETTY MUCH WHAT HE DID! He stole my idea, before I even thought of it! How dare he! I would sue, but this was a dope project, so I can't be mad at him. Just know Kyle, I'm putting you on notice!
Purchase at any of the following sites:
K-Murdock's Site (where you can get the USB Card Special Edition)