Notes to Self Target Market [Recoil]

Notes to Self Target Market [Recoil]
6
In the five years separating their debut entrée from this second full-length platter, life has been both hectic and incredibly fruitful for Toronto, ON rap foursome Notes To Self. Their tireless approach to brand development through extensive touring, the launch of a nostalgia-rooted merch line and their increasingly creative music videos have earned them the strong support of fans and, more recently, new home Decon Records. In fact, it was Decon that pushed the group to transform Target Market [Recoil] from the free collection of holdover tracks it was originally intended as into a proper full-length. As such, the compacted effort, with its focussed lyrical concepts and varied production, offers a solid demonstration of the group's growing prowess. The encyclopaedic rundown of hip-hop imagery on "All of the Above" anchors the record, while the grinding artist bent of "Sky Light," female-focused "Mr. Polite" and reflective "Recoil" add other moments of shining diversity. The album's production is, for the most part, equally competent, although slower cuts like "Nobody" and "Used To Be Dark" result in a few of the record's weaker lyrical performances, while the dicing of Def Leppard's "Rocket" on "Oh My God" wears thin by song's end. Though not intended as a proper sophomore release, with a few of the previously available tracks well traveled, there's a commendable sense of cohesion. While not every creative inflection hits, some of the tighter elements work well, revealing a group definitely moving towards something greater. (Decon)