Ill Harmonics Take Two

The debut album from the holy duo of Playdough and Blake Knight (aka Ill Harmonics) was far from interesting. Knight's organic production sound was boring and there didn't seem to be much in the lyrical skills department either. In other words: it was boring. Since then, Playdough has made appearances as part of the Christian hip-hop super group Deepspace 5 that has proven that although he may not be reinventing the art form, Playdough is a nice MC that has a smooth flow and a way with words. He even contributed some good beats under his production pseudonym of Harry Krum. Take Two, the sophomore album for Ill Harmonics, is a huge improvement over their first (and at many times is a great album), but is definitely another example that Blake Knight may be holding Ill Harmonics back. This time around, the patented organic sound of ill harmonics as conceived by Knight is much more enticing. Expecting to dislike the music, I was nonetheless drawn into songs like "Backside of the Sun," "Cats Like These" and "Destiny," even with its occasionally cheesy rock-rap attempts. Knight deserves credit for minimising the cliché beats, like on "The Crowd is Standing" and "Gypsy Kind," along with bringing in many sounds yet maintaining a consistent sound, but the beats aren't the problem here. Blake Knight just isn't very impressive as a rapper. His rhymes are standard and his flow is somewhat stilted, like he's nervous being on the microphone. There are a few exceptions, such as "Backside of the Sun," a definite highlight of the album. Here, and on many other songs, Playdough reinforces my newfound belief that he is skilled with the rhyme device. Let Blake Knight touch the mic a little less and Harry Krum touch the boards a little more and Ill Harmonics might just have the formula for success, or at least for the salvation of a few more souls. (Uprok)