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Owl Hours

Awol One & Factor

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Album Review

Anthony Martin, who raps under the name Awol One, formed a partnership with DJ and producer Factor shortly after the two met while the former was on tour in Canada, and the two have forged a strange and borderline-unique brand of progressive hip-hop. Owl Hours features a large number of guest musicians and rappers including Xzibit (who shines particularly on the brilliant but nasty "Brains Out"), Tash, E-swift, and Sunspot Jonz, among others. At its best, the album blends rock and hip-hop elements in a charmingly unselfconscious, at times nearly goofy manner: "Glamorous Drunk" and "Stand Up" are particularly powerful examples of this loose collective at its strongest. At other points, the strengths and weaknesses don't line up quite so perfectly: on "Destination" Awol One's geeky delivery starts coming across as somewhat affected, and the two-chord instrumental track is downright dumb, as are the nyah-nyah-nyah backing vocals. His flow is rather awkward on "Back Then," but that track is otherwise quite good, and just about everything else offers a similarly mixed bag of the great and the perplexing. But you get extra points just for being original in this field, and Awol One is certainly that.

Top Albums and Songs by Awol One

Owl Hours, Awol One
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