Monday, October 4, 2010

Diggin' Through The Crates: Foreign Exchange "Connected"

Can you feel it? The weather is getting cooler. The air is starting to get crisp and the leaves are beginning to fall. That's right, Autumn is finally here. Most people have certain songs and albums that set aside for the summer. Well, I have music for  Autumn. One of my favorite albums to listen to during this season is "Connected" by The Foreign Exchange.

One of the things that makes "Connected" unique is that the group made the entire album over the internet. MC/singer Phonte Coleman and producer Nicolay hadn't met in person until it was time to promote the album.

The album features a wide variety of guest appearances. With several recurring guest features, the album feels like it was an created by an ensemble. The various musical backgrounds of the people on the album blend beautifully. It's on this record, that we hear Coleman incorporate singing into his style. Once again,  Phonte delivers brutally honest lyrics about relationships, everyday life, and balancing that life while pursuing you dreams. Those of us caught in the rat race can relate to what Phonte is saying on this record (would a comparison to Mellancamp be over the top? ).

On the instrumental side of things, Nicolay isn't providing typical hip hop beats. Instead Nicolay chose to go outside the box and light it on fire. If you can find the instrumental version of the LP, don't hesitate on making that purchase. The beats are just strong as the lyrics by Coleman and guests.

This is an album that drops the machismo commonly associated with hip hop and takes a moment to be honest. It's was refreshing to hear music that dared to be different. I strongly recommend "Connected" to anyone that is looking for something unique.

A prize to the first person that can name the inspiration for this cover

Click here to stream "Connected"!

Click here to download "Maybe She'll dream of Me" the first single off of the FE's upcoming album "Authenticity".

If you have the time, you should check out Phonte's lecture at the Red Bull Music Academy.

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