Wordsworth- Mirror Music

August 29th, 2004

Of his debut solo album Wordsworth says ‘when people hear my album I want them to feel like I said everything they can’t say, so when a song ends their response is ‘Word!’ To put it bluntly, my album is like an audio art gallery of emotions’ and he couldn’t be more spot on than that. Having given us many laughs on MTV’s The Lyricist Lounge Show, having been part of the awesome pairing of Punchline and himself and having impressed crowds all across the globe it is finally time for fans to hear him on eighteen tracks of great production, focused song concepts and many emotive images. Here’s how he did it track by track:

1) ‘Right Now’ produced by Ayatolla is a solid intro track of a head nodding beat. The hook is catchy and there’s good use of a soul sample. ‘Aint no better time than the present’ sets up what’s to come nicely!

2) ‘What We Gon’ Do’ produced by Static is a well developed track of conscious lyrics and many spot on observations. ‘Kids crime on the rise, what we gonna do?

3) ‘12 Months’ is produced by Beatminerz. It’s of a fairly slow tempo and makes for a chilled, relaxing listen. There’s a nice piano loop throughout which is quite atmospheric whilst the lyrics focus on the story telling of the monotony of a 12 month year.

4) ‘Trust’ This is the B side to the first 12” release of the album. It’s produced by Dox1 and contains another catchy hook. The production is layered and the lyrics talk about dating women, vanishing after having sex and lying about love.

5) ‘Be A Man’ produced by DJ Avee and DJ 3D is a calm beat. Here Wordsworth talks about men as fathers and step dads and their responsibility. The chorus is introspective and could provide for a great gig moment with the line ‘Wave your hand side to side’.

6) ‘Not Fair’ is produced by Curt Growdy and features Punchline. It’s loud, heavier and faster paced than most other numbers. Great lines include ‘You from your contract, that should be your labels next release’ which fits in well to verses criticising a lot of today’s hip-hop scene.

7) ‘One Day’ is the first appearance of several on the album for producer Frequency. It uses a soulful sample within a gentle beat which a smooth hook suits well. ‘I close my eyes but do I ever really sleep’ just one of the lines which make up the verses which are event by event run through’s of a typical hard going day.

8) ‘Gotta Pay’ is the lead single for the first release. It’s produced by Oddisee. It’s got an addictive loop and is generally speaking, a great track to hear on the radio or play in the car. ‘I’m hot. I’ll be at the top because heat rises’ just one of many enjoyable moments of word play.

9) ‘Shoulder’ is produced by Frequency and has some great light strings all the way through the track. The vocals are the venting of inner thoughts. ‘If you feel there’s nothing worse however hard you try, you might need a shoulder to cry’.

10) ‘Head High’ is another by Oddisee. Wordsworth is joined by label mate Kenn Starr. The production is lowkey and the vocals take to the forefront of the great mix.

11) ‘Guardian Angel’ produced by Curt Growdy is of a sentimental vibe with a personal flavour which won’t be hard for many to relate to. There’s a good use of similes including a reference to ‘De Niro in heat’.

12) ‘Point Blank’ is produced by Sebb. It holds a nice deep bass line which is used economically.

13) ‘Fast Lane’ is produced by Belief. The intro is the sounds of a car starting and that’s no the only relevance the track name holds. The whole song is an extended metaphor of being in the fastest lane and is another great story telling moment, painting a scenario that possesses a moral subtext.

14) ‘Don’t Go’ produced by Frequency contains a sample of BIG. This is full of more observations of society E.G.. Drug dealing, and young mothers. The hook is refreshing and different to the others on the album. ‘In this town we don’t practice but we preach it’ is one of the stand out lines.

15) ‘Evol’ features Masta Ace and Justin Time and is produced by Ayatollah. It borrows from ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ and ups the energy level of the collection of tracks a little. The subject revolves around the downfall of a four letter word…

16) ‘Run’ is of a beat by Dave Dar featuring guest vocals from Fire Dept. The song questions where characters in not so good situations are going to run to when things get messy. ‘Eventually you’ll get caught’.

17) ‘Unity’ has a finger clicking beat provided by R.Thentic and features the emotive singing vocals of Meleni. It’s slow and full of reflective, thoughtful lyrics. It’s the heart warming moment of the album. It talks amongst other things, of the importance of parenthood.

18) ‘Gonna Be’ closes the album poignantly. It’s a busy track by Oddisee using the shuffled sounds of various layers. It’s a lyrical look back at Wordsworth doing open mic competitions and generally developing as an artist.

Without any exaggeration, this is easily one of the most impressive and enjoyable albums I’ve heard come out of the USA for some time. It’s honest, has a great touch of personal perspective from the artist, touches on a diverse range of situations and emotions and provides a lot of food for thought. There’s a lot of different producers on here, yet the CD doesn’t once seem to lose any focus and each track gels well with its neighbouring numbers to provide a balanced and solid affair.