Album Review: A Look Into Manic Focus Minds Rising
One of the few modern masters of funk, Manic Focus, has just released his latest album Minds Rising. The album released at #7 on the iTunes Electronic Chart. We took a listen and here’s the rundown.
This time around, the name of the game is collaboration and hip-hop. Several hip-hop artists make an appearance on this album, from Chicago’s ProbCause to a handful of female rappers such as Psalm One and The RapperChicks. They add a harder feel, often with relatable lyrics outlining situations we’ve all been through. The ladies truly shine on Minds Rising and these are the songs to remember. This collaborative effort adds several genres to his signature funk backdrop. Each track showcases a different instrument for a different emotive experience. “Joy In The Noise” brings a feel of 90’s underground hip-hop with a soulful piano while “Snap Like This” brings an Indian feel with pings of a sitar.
The layout of the album is well thought out. Each track seems to be in its rightful place, creating an emotive ebb and flow from track to track. The first song, “Drop In,” feels like a familiar introductory song. The following track “Putting All Of My People On” is a welcomed juxtaposition adding a harder feel, bursting at the seams with character. As the album hits the middle, a few tracks seem to simply fill the space and fail to stand out among the others. However, “Habit” is bound to be an earworm for many, with a chorus unlike any other on the album. As Minds Rising comes to a close, the final track “Time X Now” is a flawless denouement with a calm aura to bring the energy to a close.
The cover art for the album is very fitting to the feel of Minds Rising as a whole. A young man holds a balloon on a city rooftop, the balloon in the shape of a brain. The city behind him is very futuristic, with tentacle structures connecting place to place. The sky is cloudy — suggesting something ominous or brooding — yet the young man stands above an old-time phonograph and a box of vinyl. It reflects the classic nature and influences of the album paired with its futuristic backdrops, bold lyrics, and metallic samples. If there is such a thing as “metallic funk” Manic Focus has it perfected.
Overall, the album shows that Manic Focus is still growing and evolving as an artist, while still trying to stay true to what made him so popular. He continues to add more artists to his collective, and they shine through as Manic Focus makes the most of the collaborative effort. The album is definitely worth the journey to listen from start to finish.
Snag on Spotify: http://spoti.fi/2pKWjQZ
Your favorite streaming service: https://fanlink.to/MF-MindsRising