Air Dubai

Be Calm

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Colorado's Air Dubai have been building a strong live following since 2008 with their high-energy live shows and eclectic brand of cross-genre rap and dance-rock. A six-member ensemble, Air Dubai centers around the dual lead-vocal/rap attack of Julian Thomas and Jon Shockness. The band's music showcases an organic mix of synthesizers and samples alongside live drums, bass, guitar, and horns. With 2014's Be Calm, Air Dubai move even further toward a more streamlined, electronic sound that's one-part A Tribe Called Quest, one-part Ozomatli, and sprinkled with a heavy dash of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Which isn't to say that they've abandoned their earlier jazz- and funk-influenced roots. There are still plenty of groove-oriented cuts here filled with multicolored harmonic layers of sound. It’s just that the overall production is more electronic, more synth-based, and applied to songs that have more in common with '80s new wave and electro-R&B than previous Air Dubai albums. Cuts like the opening "All Day" and "Coasts" feature the group’s lyrical flow with verse raps reminiscent of Digable Planets, matched to choruses that could very easily have been written by Justin Timberlake. Most all of Be Calm hews to this kind of rapped verses-and-sung choruses formula. It also doesn’t' hurt that Air Dubai clearly have some deeper thoughts on their minds than sex and weeed (although there’s plenty of that here, too), and cuts like "Let Down" and "Soul & Body" take more philosophical stances on failed relationships and the search for love. Ultimately, with Be Calm, Air Dubai have transformed from a dynamic live entity into a rather impressive pop studio force.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 3:57 Amazon
feat: Dia Frampton
3 4:21 Amazon
4 3:31 Amazon
5 3:31 Amazon
6 3:12 Amazon
7 3:24
8 3:32 Amazon
9 3:53 Amazon
10 3:54 Amazon
11 3:28 Amazon
12 3:47 Amazon
13 4:54 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick