[Adapted; 2005]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: alternative rap, college rap
Others: Buck 65, Aesop Rock, Sole

Some of the best art comes as a product of naïveté. Many acclaimed albums have been made when the artists had no idea what they were doing. This innocence is something you can't conjure or call upon when you want; it's something that owes as much to raw talent as it does to good timing. Alasone was fortunate enough to capture this honesty in his first official full-length album, This isn't to say Alas made a solid album by total chance -- we can chalk up the success of the album to his rhymes and production as much as we can to unexplained phenomena.

Alasone has a rather unique aesthetic. His sound can be haunting at times, his voice gruff and low, singing songs that deal with ever-popular topics such as female drama, school exhaustion, religion, and isolation. Though these subjects may not be foreign to the indie rap scene, Alas manages to remain individualized by his overall musical presence. He doesn't sound like a whiney American, but actually more like a dignified, disillusioned, European youth. Alasone's production lends heavily to this mood.

Responsible for all the production on the album (sans the Maker bonus remix cut), Alas uses solid samples and a minimal approach to drums. His wise sample choices fit his words, matching the dreariness and lethargy they often suggest. "Fireflies," "St. Mary's Church," and the title track are shining examples of Alas' production prowess. His songs avoid such common threats of tiredness, overexertion, and irritation due to his solid song structure. Never one to overindulge, Alas builds a firm foundation for his words and allows them to compliment the music exceptionally well. I can't stress enough how the overall "sound" of the album is where much of its glory is derived. When Alas' heart-heavy lyrics falter, the music provides a boost, when the beats fall flat, the thick-throated delivery swoops in for the rescue.

As an artist still young and progressing, stands as a strong starting point. The album contains plenty of insightfulness and substance, all the while looking to the future. His lyrics are striking in their stark depictions and somber vividness. Alas seems earnest, and most importantly, poised, to move forth in his music and fine-tune even further. Now we just wait and see if he'll rekindle the priceless innocence that marked this album.

1. Intro
2. Thermometer
3. Dead. Than Alive
4. Windtunnel
5. Beneath the Wheel
6. I. Spoke
7. Bad Sitcom
8. This.Style.Color.
9. Fireflies
10. Loving Every Minute
11. Mom and Nikola Tesla
12. St. Mary's Church
13. Alone Tonight
14. Bad Sitcom (maker remix)