The Good Fight

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Mixing the bright retro soul of Aloe Blacc with the literate and alive lyrics of Kendrick Lamar, underground rapper Oddisee's work is more persuasive than usual on his 2015 LP The Good Fight, an excellent album that strives to crossover but doesn't pull any punches. That crossover bit comes from the music's endless supply of grooves and hooks that can lock the listener into place, but these aren't beats built for just the lowest common denominator, as "Book Covers" creatively unfurls with a singalong intro somewhere between a gospel choir and Tony! Toni! Tone! Still, the intro's lyrics, "Don't judge a book by its cover if you don't even read/There's no shame in saying that you're not up to speed" are quintessential Oddisee. The kinetic "Counter-Clockwise" sticks in the head after a first encounter, and yet it's a complicated song full of strife with a layered argument that haters across the world aren't helping matters much. "Want Something Done" is a luminescent blast of retro soul that fights the good fight with "I'm a new angel and they only want the old demons" being aimed at the music industry, adding "if you've got a message in your records then you're collecting dust" in an ironic manner, as this is Oddisee's tenth album in just seven years. He may be prolific, but he certainly isn't spread too thin, as The Good Fight is inspired, infectious, and artistically grand.

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