K-os Atlantis: Hymns for Disco

K-os Atlantis: Hymns for Disco
Conformity alone won’t sink Atlantis. To be sure, K-os takes cautious steps with his third disc, most of them familiar from his second album — Joyful Rebellion. New songs wear the hand-me-down designs of older siblings, often more comfortably. Beat-wise, "Electrik Heat: The Seekwill” shadows older brother "B-Boy Stance” to hip-hop’s block-rocking party days. Then it flips its vibe forward to the future with reality-questioning lyrics that twist their way through time and space. Except this time ’round, the message gets muddled. It sounds tight, but doesn’t mean much. Dash aside your desire for profundity, accept that poets often make for troubled prophets, and it won’t matter that the trend continues throughout. Not with music this polished. A king at co-opting, "Born to Run” borrows Bloc Party’s knifelike guitars and sees K-os at his rock star best. All of which plants you in the pews for the soul-inflating gospel hymn "Sunday Morning.” Only then can Kheaven preach — about waiting for redemption the morning after an immoral Saturday night — and escape persecution. Flowery, pour-my-heart-out pop ballads "Highway 7” or "Black Ice” push their luck, but overall, nothing here should steer your ear away from these — still — joyful rebellions. (EMI)