Various Urban Renewal Program

There have been so many compilations over the years that have looked amazing when running down the track listing and checking out the artists involved, yet the overall outcome winds up being a huge disappointment. Luckily, the heads that were called on to create this project approached each track in top form and have created a remarkable recording, as far as hip-hop gatherings fare. With the incredible amount of talent involved, it's impossible to do this record any justice by just mentioning a few names. Prefuse 73 starts things off right with a re-edit of his "Radio Attack" that holds as much glory and beautiful eerie-ness of the original. Def Jux is represented well with topnotch cuts from Aesop Rock, Mr. Lif and El-P, as well as an odd, but epic, rock-driven offering from RJD2. Diverse comes correct twice in a row, first with Mos Def and then on his own, taking claim as the hip-hop highlight of the record with a beautiful beat ripped apart with furious cuts and blessed with his flawless flow. On the instrumental side of things, we have DJ Food creating an atmospheric journey into his deep realm of beat manipulation and Caural taking the crown as best cut on the record, which amongst these classic songs is an incredible feat. One thing to be noted is Miho Hatori's unleashing of a beautiful solo effort, giving a glimpse of what the stunning songstress has been up to in her post-Cibo Matto days. Urban Renewal Program is simply an extremely solid compilation that exceeds the high expectations of having so many artists capable of creating masterpieces in one place. (Chocolate Industries)