Factor Woke Up Alone

FactorWoke Up Alone
Factor has collaborated as a production partner on a number of well-received underground rap records like Moka Only's Saffron, Awol One's Owl Hours and Myka 9's Sovereign Soul, but the producer compilation has long been a successful format for communicating his musical message too, with more than a dozen under his belt since the release of Time Invested in 2002. His latest features many of his usual collaborators, along with a few newer friends, but this time he's stringing it all together with a creepy concept: A man deals with the death of his wife by trying to bring her back from the dead. Kirby Dominant (the rapping half of Paranoid Castle with Factor as producer) plays the role of the widowed man, and he's enjoyable over his three separate appearances, but especially on "The Empire Has Fallen," where he first expresses his anguish over the loss. Guests Open Mike Eagle, Onry Ozzborn, Myka 9, Ceschi (his "Raise the Dead" is another album highlight) and others offer advice on how to deal with the death in the roles of doctor, false prophet, psychiatrist, medicine man, the Devil, the wife's ghost and his own conscience. Factor's production sets the mood; the music is mostly slow and sad, aside from the few moments of hope that get something a little more uplifting. Woke Up Alone is already a great collection of songs, but the successful realization of the concept makes it more cohesive and hopefully sparks a trend in compilation albums. (Fake Four Inc.)