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Album Review

What sounds like the cry of the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team, "The Moon Cries Out" introduces "FYI," a deliberate hip-hop tune that shows Listener's unique delivery and vocal style as featured on Whispermoon. Although the backing vocals resemble monk-like chanting, the tune is a nice opener. The album says this is "American Made Underground Hip-Hop" and the phrase is appropriate. Not as polished or glossy as bigger rap stars, this record has a certain independent aura around it. "You're So Underground" eerily resembles Canadian hip-hop act Buck 65. A narrative describing the bland state of the music industry, the rhymes amble along as the back beat carries most of the song. "If you can't push units then you're not worth their expense," the rapper proclaims. Listener opts for a primal sound on "Winter Life," a number that is uneven in terms of tempo, but once the listener finds the groove, it is quite pleasing. Listener does have a certain tone to his work that is sometimes preachy on "Train Song" and "Crystal Methods." Thankfully though there is a '70s-funk vibe sprinkled over "Decadence," making the track the album's high point. "Ways of the World" doesn't grab the listener and sounds a bit aimless. "Behind These Doors" is a mix of acoustic guitar and a heavy bass buzz woven throughout as Listener discusses the courage to carry on despite disappointments. The jazz undercurrent to "Wundering" sounds a bit odd against the rap and doesn't quite work as well as it possibly could. "It's a Lonely World" features a female backing vocal and a strong rhythm despite an odd and atmospheric piano interspersed over the vocals.

Customer Reviews


When I first heard listener it was the album "Wooden Heart". I only had great things to say. I then slowly made my way back through their other albums. Still, everything was awesome. Then I got to this album. Wow wow wow wow. I love it. I love the lyrics. I love the beats. I love listener. Dan smith and Christin Nelson are great. From beginning to end. Dan has so much to say and he does not waste time saying it. I look forward to whatever they have to offer next. I'm sure they won't disappoint. Thank you for doing what you do.

Unfortunately his only RAP album.

I dunno what happened after this album with his overdone, contrived poetry. But this is where I wish he'd have stayed.


Formed: 2002 in Fayetteville, AK

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '10s

Arkansas indie outfit Listener combine spoken word with their own unique Southern rock and punk-influenced alternative rap sound. Originally a solo project for frontman Dan Smith in 2002, Listener ultimately evolved into an organic ensemble featuring Smith on vocals and bass, Christin Nelson on guitar, and Kris Rochelle on drums. Listener have several albums to their name, including 2003's Whispermoon, 2005's...
Full Bio
Whispermoon, Listener
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Customer Ratings