Selfhelp Old Friends

Selfhelp Old Friends
It's been seven years since Selfhelp last released a project, his collaboration with Thesis Sahib as Bending Mouth, so it's not surprising that Old Friends, his solo debut, is a little overlong. It's also quite personal, with a couple of mentions of his son and a song about his girl, "Cuter Than Cute" — cute song, bad chorus. With his diary pulling double duty as his rhyme book, Old Friends can be a serious endeavour, touching on love, politics, aging, debt, art, Robotechnology and more. The brooding, melancholy beats that often accompany these songs add to the overall weight of the album, something that could have been solved with more fun interludes like hype party anthem "Drunk Last Night" or the Awol-assisted "Hot As Coffee." Still, the electro-influenced glitch-hop (mostly provided by Swiss producer Mattr) and quirky underground beats (provided by Timbuktu, Savilion, Aries and others) are intricate and creative, and Selfhelp keeps things interesting by flipping his styles, betraying his Project Blowed influences as he switches through his simpler, more straightforward flows to double-time raps to sing-song styles to actual singing. Old Friends might require close attention but the time and energy are worth it, just like the wait. (Secret Cloud)