The Arcade Fire
Astrud Gilberto
The Beach Boys
The Beatles
Ben Harper
Better Than Ezra
Bill Evans
Binary Star
Black Sabbath
Bob Dylan
Bob Marley & The Wailers
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
Brendan Benson
Bright Eyes
Brother Ali
Built to Spill
Citizen Cope
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!
Coheed and Cambria
Company Flow
Daft Punk
Damien Rice
Dane Cook
Death Cab for Cutie
The Decemberists
The Dismemberment Plan
DJ Shadow
Don Caballero
Doug Martsch
Duke Ellington With Charles Mingus & Max Roach
The Eagles
Elliot Smith
Elton John
Elvis Costello
Eric Clapton
Eve 6
Explosions In The Sky
Fatboy Slim
The Flaming Lips
Foo Fighters
Frank Sinatra and Count Basie Orchestra
Freddie Hubbard
The Game
Gnarls Barkley
Goo Goo Dolls
Good Charlotte
Green Day
Harry Connick Jr
Herbie Hancock
Hootie & The Blowfish
Insane Clown Posse
Jack Johnson
Jedi Mind Tricks
Jenny Lewis
John Mayer
Johnny Sketch And The Dirty Notes
Kanye West
Led Zeppelin
Lemon Jelly
Lil' Wayne
Lil' Wyte
Linkin Park
Living Legends
Magnetic Fields
Maroon 5
Massive Attack
Matchbox 20
Mercury Rev
Michael Jackson
Miles Davis
Mindless Self Indulgence
Modest Mouse
Mos Def
My Bloody Valentine
Neutral Milk Hotel
Of Montreal
The Olivia Tremor Control
Pink Floyd
The Polyphonic Spree
Ray Charles
The Red Hot Chili Peppers
Rilo Kiley
The Rolling Stones
Sean Price
The Shins
Sigur Rós
The Smashing Pumpkins
Something Corporate
Soulja Slim
Stephen Malkmus
The Streets
Talib Kweli
Various Artists
The Walkmen
Weird Al Yankovic
The Wrens
Yo La Tengo
Young Buck
Zion I
ZZ Top
Artist: Edan
Label: Lewis Ent
Genre: Hip-Hop
Release: Jan 2005   My Rating: 0
Duration: 34:00
Summary: Boston's Edan may come off as an obsessed fan-boy of late '80s hip-hop, an acolyte schooled in the furious braggadocio of Big Daddy Kane and Kool G Rap. Stylistically, with his own furiously fast rhymes and tommy gun beats, it's obvious this is where he draws his inspiration from. However, Beauty and the Beat does far more than shout out Edan's personal pantheon or clone their microphone mannerisms. "Beauty" is a tightly bound effort clocking in at an efficient 34 minutes, with 13 briskly paced tracks that flow with impressive coherency. Edan mines the surreal swirls and moody loops of '60s psychedelic rock. His heavy density of fuzzed-out guitar screeches, dreamy horn wails, and sci-fi sound effects create a unique sonic bed that complements Edan's imaginative (and often non-sequitur) lyricism. Whatever Edan's rhymes may lack in topicality, they brim with style, offering more than clever punchlines and catchy hooks. This is an MC who still appreciates the basic pleasure of word play. "--Oliver Wang"

Artist: Edan
Label: Solid Records
Genre: Hip-Hop
Release: Jan 2002   My Rating: 0
Duration: 57:11
Summary: Edan is quite a rarity in hip-hop nowadays. You often hear about emcees complaining about taking on the bulk of the work (production and rhymes) for their muddled debut, which usually results in a collaborative sophomore release. That's not the case with Edan. He's better than most producers that only produce. His flows are untouchable by most emcees. And after hearing his new album "Beauty And The Beat", it's clear that he can also engineer with the best of them. So Edan can scratch, produce, and rock the mic; so what separates Edan from the other hip-hop acts out there? Let's start with the incredibly inventive production. First of all, it's very electronic. The space is filled with dirty 80s hip-hop drums, vintage and video game samples, tripped out noises and lots of dirty reverb. It's extremely thick and layered in arrangement, leaving the desire for multiple listens. It has a certain charm and uniqueness to it that will continue to draw you in. It's not minimal by any means, although it does seem fairly accessible. The production wouldn't work as well without Edan's exuberantly humorous and fresh personality. When listening to each track, it almost seems as if Edan has an everlasting source of inspiration. Each track sounds pristine in delivery. Edan also has something in common with the multiple personalities of Madlib. As Madlib darts out with his alter-ego "Quasimoto", Edan also tweaks his voice to sound semi-similar; at one point paying tribute to Kool Keith on "Ultra '88" (the Ultramagnetic MC's era), using his helium induced flow.

Another thing I'd like to talk about is the incredibly sweet artwork (also created by Edan). Back in the 70s, these robots produced by Quasar popped up at trade fairs, supermarkets, chat shows, and shopping malls all over the place. The owner of Quasar claimed that these were fully programmable robots that were capable of completing a wide array of household chores, and would soon be available at a reasonable price. He was soon exposed of his lies when a man with a remote control was spotted controlling the robot, thus proving that Quasar's claims were to good to be true. The artwork really speaks to the feel of the album though. Although Edan uses your basic primitive tools to create the album, it's also futuristic and ahead of it's time. Much like the robots by Quasar.

There are plenty of outstanding tracks here. He proves early on with "One Man Arsenal" that he's a force to be reckoned with. One of my favorite tracks, which features a piece of classical music (Tchaikovsky, I think) is "Key Bored". It also features some killer verses like this one - "My brain is packed with frames of accurate detail / I'd rather hug a tree than fu*k around with an e-mail". We get a nice view of Edan's humorous personality on "Emcees Smoke Crack" where he boasts this clever lyric - "Egg yolks in the eyes is how I'm doin' 'em / emcees smoke crack, I smoke aluminum". My favorite track on the album is "#1 Hit Record". The production is instantly memorable and truly addictive. It definitely includes some of the tightest verses and punch lines on the album. Check 'em out - "Silver Surfer on the cerebellum / MC's rhyme at the zoo and when they're wack, parrots tell 'em". Here's another - "Raw rap suburbanite / I'm fu*kin' with religion like I didn't wear the turban right". This is a great one - "The flyest on a 12-inch / So is your girl, and she doesn't make records". "Syllable Practice" is also one of my favorites, which features a cut up Cut Chemist beat (from Jurassic 5's "Quality Control"). Edan warns us ahead of time - "I'm not gonna say anything significant; you know, but it's gonna be battle rhymes. And it's gonna sound pretty." Mr. Lif stops by for a killer appearance on "Rapperfection". "You Suck" is probably the best track on the album as far the sick production and rhymes go. Edan proves to be a great story teller with "Run That Sh*t!". A story about how he doesn't work to make an honest buck, and just jacks people for their money, food, jewelry, etc. It really is quite humorous.

Edan pays tribute nicely to the great innovators of hip-hop, including Kool Moe Dee, KRS-One, Rakim, Kool Keith, Slick Rick, among many others. His style is actually very reminiscent of Kool Keith and Del Tha Funkee Homosapien. I would venture to say that I've never heard such a bold example of a love for hip-hop. Edan's psychedelic hip-hop style is definitely one of a kind. It's not at all surprising that it took an English hip-hop label to release the record. He shouldn't have that problem anymore, since he's proved to be a worthy adversary to the masses with this incredibly fun and addictive masterpiece.