"Birmingham's a city, a small world of darkness," the Elementz recount on the lead off track "Speech Therapy," from their album Neon Verses. It's a statement uttered by many of England's new artists as they attempt to reconcile the dark and dreary environments of many of the country's industrialized cities with problems of their own. The Elementz, a collective of hip-hoppers that rhyme in the vein of A Tribe Called Quest, Digable Planets, and Mos Def, are intent on changing things for the better while remaining very true to their roots. And being a part of this consciousness raising style of hip-hop sometimes assumes a great deal of responsibility. With that in mind, Elementz never miss a beat. The entire record, so stylized yet sensible, is packed with strong beats, clever delivery, even more clever lyrics, and scaled down production that never oversteps its boundaries. They also employ vibes, oboe, and other instruments quite nicely to weave some gorgeous melodies into their message-filled lyrics. These are men with strong voices, thick rhythms, and a definite vision that screams out above any mainstream hip-hop today. Brimming with tracks, 20 in total, Neon Verses is a brilliant debut for these young MCs. Forget Britain, the Elementz have their eyes on the prize, and it's got nothing to do with money.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Taylor