Arabesque NuCLear Ambition

Three years after releasing his second album, Hang Your Heroes, and two years after releasing a remix/compilation of his first two bodies of work (The Frenzy of Renown, solely in Japan), Besque is back. This time, he comes around with the concise Nuclear Ambition, an album that contains more than a few tracks worth a second listen. First single "Understand" is constructed in the same vein as elements of Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind" and the more over-arching "Walk on the Wild Side" by Lou Reed. Besque delves into the plight of landed immigrants by giving us a glance at four characters, and somehow the cut feels unique to Toronto, perhaps through the combination of the individuals' ethnic origins and that it's Besque telling the story. The vocal hooks are catchy and that's the standard throughout the album, extending through cuts like "Blue," which puts the listener at one with Besque's inner dialogue as he goes through the frustrations of finding a white-collar job, a song in which many will find common ground. The same goes for "Devil's Deposit," which uses a fairly clever way to explain the trials and temptations of debt. Besque's return is marked by the fine-tuning of his overall artistic offering. (Independent)