Published Apr 04, 2014Despite dropping a collaborative LP with Stik Figa mere months ago, L'Orange returns to the juicer once again to extract the goodness from a bounty of sources. His signature style is unchanged: it's still cuts from classic radio broadcasts, reinforced with swing-era jazz samples and shadowy film noir dialogue. Nothing new, but nothing lost, either. This is a sound that L'Orange has completely nailed since his first release in 2011.
The only real shift with this new album is a shift in tone. The Orchid Days moves away from the somewhat eerie undercurrent of L'Orange's earlier releases and towards a love-filled narrative. Tracks "The Orchard" and "Mind Vs Matter (feat. Homeboy Sandman)" paint scenes of bygone romance, while "Love Letter (feat. Jeremiah Jae)" is a slow-churning, regretful lament. Strangely, Jae's versus aren't even the best on the record. That token goes to rhyme conjurer Blu, who floats flawlessly on album highlight "Need You."
Don't let the track titles and undertones put you off: The Orchid Days is not sappy, it's cheerfully upbeat, just rife with samples from a period in which romance was the focus of most music. (Mello Music Group)