The Listener Whispermoon

Listener, a founding member of Labklik and Deepspace 5, presents a debut album that redeems the soul as well as the mind. The lyrics are introspective and personal, rapped with simple nonchalance, and likely to impress fans of Buck 65, Epic or Sage Francis. Listener opens himself up to get spiritual, especially on songs like "Train Song,” where God, a homeless old man, tries to pass a message on to the narrator before time finds him as a homeless old man, too. While "Train Song” might be the most coherent and touching song, Whispermoon is filled with an emotion that gives the album a generally melancholy vibe. The beats, mostly produced by Dust of Mars Ill, are also dark and sombre, which doesn’t help lift the mood. A few beats get pretty creative, like the off-kilter drums on the self-produced "Emotional” and Dust’s "Behind These Doors,” and the sound effects from the bridge of the Enterprise on "Ways of the Wind” by Dust, but more songs should have had kick like the posse cut "FYI,” and "Decadence,” with its slick bass lick. Whispermoon may not be to everyone’s tastes but it’s another notch in the belt for Mush Recordings and good hip-hop in general. (Mush)