Conscience No Weakness

You can't fault Conscience for opening their third album with the title track. Not only does it mean the first voice you hear is featured guest KRS-One, but guest producer MAKEMDEF also turns this song about perseverance into an anthem with big, banging drums, strings and singing samples. The T'Cha's verse is a show-stealing scorcher that gives props to the Vancouver trio while rappers Brody and Noetic ably hold their own on their respective verses here (and throughout), and singer Lyndsay goes over-the-top with a showy R&B chorus that's a tad generic. Her vocals over the rest of the album are more subdued and soulful, with Lyndsay's lush voice being one of the main aspects of the group's sound. She deserves more moments like "Running Away" though, where she receives a full verse of her own. And Brody's production — an organic backdrop that favours guitars and piano to create a mellow groove — is well-suited to Lyndsay's singing, and also works well with Brody and Noetic's introspective lyrics about perseverance, confidence and friendship. The lone exception is "Rollin'," a heavy metal posse number with Halfcut that ends the album as it started: banging hard. No Weakness is short at only seven songs long, but it has plenty of replay value. (Independent)