Souls of Mischief

There Is Only Now

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

The veteran Oakland crew, who had just celebrated the 20-year anniversary of their classic debut 93 'Til Infinity, get the magic Adrian Younge touch for There Is Only Now. As with Ghostface Killah's Twelve Reasons to Die, this was produced by Younge, the preternaturally talented musician and beatmaker whose knack for '70s-inspired cinematic suspense is unmatched. It too has a narrative quality, beginning with a near-death incident and continuing through a linear series of scenes that involves drop-ins from the likes of Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg, Scarub, and the Delfonics' William Hart. Ali Shaheed Muhammad plays the role of host (and also remixed the album for a stand-alone release). The set doesn't get weighed down by the concept; Younge and company keep it moving. Just over a quarter of the tracks break three minutes in length, and A-Plus, Opio, Phesto, and Tajai maintain urgency throughout, with their leads changing not merely by the verse but also by the rhyme, and they sometimes complete one another's thoughts. Expertly arranged and executed rhymes, meaty basslines, crisp drums, darkly twinkling keyboard vamps, and terror strings reverberate for hours after listening.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 0:20
2 2:20
3 1:52
4 3:11
5 0:37
6 3:20
7 3:36
8 3:30
9 2:55
10 0:55
11 2:10
12 1:24
13 2:09
14 2:44
15 0:22
16 3:07
17 2:37
18 2:22
19 0:36
blue highlight denotes track pick