Awol One The War of Art

Awol One’s collaborative efforts with a single producer have resulted in his best and most cohesive albums, but infrequently he cleans house with something like The War of Art, a collection of tracks by varied producers. Still, The War of Art is a damn good album thanks to plenty of up-tempo productions, the type on which Awol often excels. The album starts strong with a crunching, Def Jux-style beat by J-Zone for "This Far,” and continues with the Jizzm-produced condemnation of Hollywood stardom on "Casting Call,” followed by an ode to the underground with another Def Jux-style production from Grouch for "Seeds Grow,” finally ending with "The Drums,” a percussion-heavy Transducer beat that might even get a bit of club play. Later tracks worth checking out are "Knowbody Cares,” Awol’s requisite self-deprecating track featuring Jizzm on the beat and guest vocals, and the cheery Pigeon John production "Get You.” However, the crowning achievement for Awol is a reassuringly awesome appearance of the T'Cha KRS-One on "Underground Killz,” also featuring 2Mex. However, while The War of Art may be amongst the best of Awol One’s albums, the heavy metal closing track might be just a bit much. Thankfully there is a final hidden hip-hop track. (Cornerstone R.A.S.)