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TSOL (Black Box Recordings)


The Old Prince returns with an effortlessly lively, energetic flow that fans of ’90s hip-hop should embrace. The Canadian rapper and master lyricist appears more socially conscious on his third album, without infringing on K’naan territory. ”Keep Shining” addresses hip-hop misogyny, and there’s a sweet little Fox News takedown (“Glenn Beck better duck like fois gras”) on “Rose Garden”---but not at the expense of entertainment. Shad keeps it light, almost too overstuffed, with pop culture references, moving from Lost to Mordecai Richler to Kindergarden Cop, making the mysteriously named TSOL a fizzy summer treat, while still a strong contender for a Polaris Prize shortlist.

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