ARTIST: CROWE REINHOLD
Pittsburgh rapper/singer/producer Crowe Reinhold is a multi-faceted talent whose songwriting strengths have been incredibly apparent on past works, and on his new project Reclamation, the diversity he displays in all of these areas is nothing short of breathtaking. Opener ‘costigan’ is a more melodic approach than much of his discography to date, revealing an immediate influence from Andre 3000 and charismatic southern rap in general. Over a simple piano-led beat, Crowe delivers a smooth, layered hook and two snappy verses that take an approach both lackadaisical and illuminatingly self-conscious. The follow up ‘for today?’ takes this approach in an even more anthemic direction. Crowe’s voice is truly wonderful on this song, which takes a step into an indie rock direction while maintaining an undeniable soul influence. His production is immaculate, consisting of gently strummed acoustic guitars and light percussion that allow a greater focus on the Three Stacks-aping delivery. This song is stupidly infectious, presenting an artist in his true artistic prime as he navigates through different genres and styles that many would easily stumble over.
Other songs, such as album mid-point ‘tweak’ maintain the soft, minimal production style, but add an extra layer of furious energy as Crowe launches into a fast-paced flow that feels reminiscent of Denzel Curry and other artists making constant leaps between the melodic and aggressive. A lot of ‘tweak’’s lyrical content remains pretty ambiguous as the focus of this track is to showcase the rapper’s technical abilities, but the song still packs a strong hook and continues the thread of strong songwriting. It’s a slight step away from the tape’s general theme of vocal-led songs packing whimsical, dreamy hooks, but it still works as a display of Crowe’s immeasurable talent behind the mic. The other primary deviation from this style is the two part ‘snake//snail’, which begins as another hyper melodic technical track but son evolves into a slow moving, tortured-sounding lyrical display as the beat switches into something darker and more sinister. To me, this song is the pinnacle of all of Crowe’s potential, allowing him to sing, rap, produce and craft an impressive piece of songwriting all within the same piece of music.
As the album winds down, we get more of the purely soulful approach (the Mac Miller meets Denzel sensibilities of ‘cutthetape’) before the tape concludes with a short instrumental jam. Artistically, the project is immaculately structured, consistently delivering quality material for lovers of both soul and hip-hop, as well as proving that its creator is a jack-of-all-trades that is well on the way to mastering all of them.
Listen to the project in full right here.