Very few singer/songwriters can claim to have been compared to both Prince and Nick Drake, but that's part of what makes Raz Ohara a unique and interesting artist. Interesting in theory, anyway. In practice, his songs -- which, on Last Legend, are all built on a voice-and-acoustic-guitar foundation -- are often pretty and occasionally gorgeous, but frequently devolve into a sort of smug and self-indulgent hipness that grates even as the music itself strokes and soothes. The songs on Last Legend are mainly beat-free; while samples and overdubs sometimes crowd the sound, they generally do so with the soft denseness of a pile of pillows, as on the lovely "True Feelin" and the sweetly swaying "Where's the Road to China." Hints of rhythmic interest arise on "Payed Voyeu" and the almost (that's almost) funky "Cartoon Charactaz," but for the most part the vibe is lush and relaxed. Perhaps the album's finest moment is its last track, the simply beautiful "Far's Sang" -- its most annoying is probably "In Her Mind," on which Ohara's voice is mic'ed so close that you'll find yourself involuntarily rubbing the condensation out of your ears. Worth hearing overall, but not essential.
The Last Legend Review
by Rick Anderson
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