Earmint Another Early Evening

Yet another emerging talent from Chicago, Earmint first made some noise in the hip-hop world when his fine production landed on Diverse’s "Just Biz” release. Since then he’s been piecing together his first record and has heavyweights such as Diverse, Murs and Psalm One lending a hand to make it a worthwhile spin and plant the seed for further development. Another Early Evening starts off real well with Psalm One laying down a nice hook and strong lyrics for a terrific off-kilter jam called "The Flashy Slang.” Followed by a handful of instrumental jams before Diverse tears things up on "The Bluesinger” it’s noticeable that Earmint might be better off working with MCs rather than being left to fill the gaps with vocal samples to carry an entire song. It’s not that his work as a composer is that bad, but it tends to slow the record down quite a bit, especially when his best beats seem to be the simple verse and chorus approach. There are little moments like the quick "Wreck Shop” that has some interesting sample chopping as well as a handful of other nice ideas that just don’t seem to entirely take off. Earmint is equally influenced, if not more, by bands like Depeche Mode and New Order as he is with hip-hop artists so there might be a case of pop experimentation slipping its way into the mix, but there’s enough here to assure Earmint will be placed nicely amongst the current Chicago hip-hop uprising. (EV)