Published Jan 21, 2014Following last year's critically acclaimed and much touted release, Sunday Service II, Tree returns with his signature raspy vocals and introspective observations in the form of the (free!) seven-track The @MCTREEEG EP. According to Tree, the EP is a "collection of great music for the masses," and for the most part, his intent to satisfy fans and newcomers succeeds. With each song, Tree recollects and ruminates, detailing the harsh realities of life over his trademark "soultrap" sound.
Opening track "Probably Nu it" captures that title with bouncy 808s and melodic on-wax wisdom. However, it's when Tree exposes his inner turmoil that his best work comes forth. This is evident on "Soultrappin/ I believe" in which he bluntly says, "I said my father was an addict, but yo Malcolm was an addict," outlining how even his idols can be bested by their vices. Again, the project works because it strikes a balance between pleasing long-time fans and serving as an accessible entry point for curious listeners.
On the flip side, it's because of this balancing act that the EP feels like a lighter affair in comparison to his previous efforts. Also, in a strange move by Scion, the EP censors swear words by the artist. While it doesn't ruin the experience it does feel weirdly placed, but free + Tree = no complaints. In any case, the @MCTREEG EP is a well-rounded release from one of Chicago's most soulful spokesmen. (Scion A/V)