Evidence The Weatherman LP

For his first full-length trip away from Dilated Peoples’ nest, Evidence turns in a rather sombre collection of reflective musings about homesickness, artistic struggles and the general life changes of someone quietly realising they’re not a kid anymore. Executive producer the Alchemist and a handful of fellow beatsmiths (including Babu, Ev, Jake One, and DJ Khalil) match that tone from beginning to end with mixed results, not so much in the quality of the productions but more in the record’s overall crawling pace. After the first of three "Weather Report” skits calling for storms and floods, Evidence kicks into "Mr. Slow Flow,” a sonically immense track built on a pounding backbeat and ominous synth progression, with raw cuts and exploding effects adding to the weight. This production style continues with Alchemist’s intricately stuttered "Letyourselfgo” and continues until things lighten up a bit musically on "Chase The Clouds Away,” as Evidence blesses the few things in life that make him happy. Things quickly revert to normal, however, as Joe Scudda, Defari and Big Pooh make the East/West connect on "NC to CA,” with more screaming synths and plodding drums. The MC’s autobiographical lyrical tact makes for a pretty intimate affair throughout, and the accompanying music, though not necessarily diverse, is detailed and cohesive. But at over an hour in running length, the record’s singular speed does wear on you. (ABB)