lp1 gets a 7.5/10 it is one of those highly experimental beers that you can only get in brewery. Like a blueberry coffee beer. Something totally out there that makes you question what music can be. It is volatile though. It can’t be put out on the shelves because it probably won’t sell. The kinks need to be worked out.
Hundred Million Thousand sometimes stylized as HMT is a Canadian based producer of Pilipino/Persian heritage. It is important to mention HMTs ethnicity because it plays a clear roll in his production influences. This is apparent from the opening track, and single Yalda. Yalda opens on an interesting, distinctly Middle Eastern style of vocals.
I think many western listeners, like myself, get a sense of mysticism, and ancient feeling when the vocals are introduced. HMT superimposes these vocals to the backdrop of a computerized sounding percussion. This creates a dissonance in the ear of the listener.
It becomes apparent that HMT is experimenting in audio aesthetics. There is a distinction to make. In pop music there is an adherence to a popular genre, and music is often replicated, there is not a push to try and find the boundaries of music. lp1 does this. With many producers there is a lot of experimentation with different computerized noises to see what works. Groups like Chainsmokers, and even Kanye West experiment with noises that one typically would not associate with music.
We are living in a time that is testing the boundaries of music, and HMT is one of these artists showing us what music can be. lp1 takes on a melancholic, reflective tone, and it makes the listener wonder why it is that we get these feelings from a collection of abstract sounds. It is an interesting introduction into the philosophy of aesthetics and how it applies to music.
When listening to this album, I found myself questioning things like, “what makes music, music?” There is something existential about this album. The combining of sacred sounding Middle Eastern styles, with electronic beats makes for a lot of contemplation.
I know that I often complain about albums sounding too much the same, and they grow boring, however, I never got that sense when listening to this album. The entire album has the spacey contemplative feel, but that makes sense for the album. The album works as an entire entity. It is trying to convey this message of questioning.
The guest appearances on lp1 are lyrically good and fitting. I find that Kurai sounds a bit too much like Kendrick Lamar, but I can overlook that because this review is more focused on HMT, and the vocally the Kendrick sound works.
This is an introspective album, but there is something missing. Music needs to have that draw, or pop. I can’t describe it, and I do not know if you, the reader will understand it, but music needs to have that certain something to it that makes you want to listen, and keep listening. I have never met anyone who can describe it, it is more like a feeling. You know it when you hear Led Zeppelin, Kanye West, or Mozart. There that extra little bit of music prowess or understanding that draws in listeners.
lp1 gets a bit too experimental for there to be any major mainstream appeal, but it is a creative album that deserves a listen.
By Sam Hill