K-OS
Atlantis: Hymns to Disco
(Virgin)
Few hip-hop artists display less anger and more curiosity than K-OS, aka Kevin Brereton. This bird is turning over rocks on much of Atlantis and finding a meal every time. More than a pastiche, “The Rain” zings with real strings like it’s 1966. The song and performance bring to mind Jerry Butler and soul devotees can only hope he explores that avenue further. Sam Roberts helps out on “Valhalla,” over an entrancing 14/2 cadence that swings like a broken bedspring. K-OS’s gifts as a rhyme-dropper are always evident but it’s the guitar-laced cuts, revealing a rare combination of daring and taste, that mark the youthful Torontonian as maybe the most inventive act in Canada today. “Equalizer” features fretman Russ Klyne rebranding traces of “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Stairway to Heaven” while K-OS declares, “Rap’s not afraid of the dark.” The song develops an improbable flow that resolves within three minutes. He opens “Ballad of Noah” with Dylanesque harmonica warble and then lets in Buck 65 for a burst, giving the album a solid hip-hop open and close with the motherlode in between. If the insular Yank rap audience doesn’t eat this up, it really does need to get out more.
—Doug Taylor
categories: Coast pick,Canadian artist

Support The Coast

At a time when the city needs local coverage more than ever, we’re asking for your help to support independent journalism. We are committed as always to providing free access to readers, particularly as we confront the impact of COVID-19 in Halifax and beyond.

Read more about the work we do here, or consider making a donation. Thank you for your support!

Comments (0)

Add a comment

Add a Comment

Get more Halifax

Our Thursday email gets you caught up with The Coast. Sign up and go deep on Halifax.

Recent Comments