Eighteen18- Body Armour

March 18th, 2006

Out on Northbridge Records, 'Body Armour' is simply one of the most artistic and fulfilling releases the UK hiphop scene has generated for way too long. The production is of a very high quality and offers a diverse array of atmospheres and paces, whilst the vocals are the sort you want to hear again and again, delivering high quality straight up hiphop bombs alongside moving reflections.

Adee handles the production and Lexis Salinger takes charge of vocal duties. DJ Snare provides the turntable tricks, whilst Jayded contributes to the production and mixes up the final result. The whole affair has a strong sense of being a complete and unified project. It feels like attention has been particularly placed on the fact that an album's being worked on, as the track listing is strong and of very few, if any filler spots.

'Carol Patricia Kilner' is an extremely deep retrospective offering by Lexis which is sure to have an impact on even the most insensitive of listeners. The slow and haunting vibe of the beat really matches the vocals and certainly results in an album highlight. 'B-Boy Narcissus' is a much more intense and heavy number of an industrial and semi sci-fi nature whilst 'You Bum For Smack' sounds as though it's been lifted straight off a film soundtrack.

Jehst features on the very energetic 'Boogaloobuggedout' which is a stand out track, whilst the piano sample driven 'Ruth's Song' provides another slice of raw emotion, this time focusing on the topic of break-ups. 'These Knives Are Words' has a really deep bass line over which Lexis drops aggressive verses whilst 'Dirty Sex Bastard' nears the end of the album in a great up-tempo manner.

Put the inevitable broadsheet comparisons to Eminem and Mike Skinner aside and see for yourself, just how great this release is. Lexis is a very interesting character more than worth hearing, especially alongside production by Adee who seems utterly skilled and capable in his field. Nothing like this is likely to be heard again for a very long time.