Two years ago Cardiac Da Pulse released his first project, The Shaded Grey EP, and we were feeling it. Now he feels it’s time to comes with a full album and, we are glad to say, we’re still feeling it.
The thing about modern hip-hop albums is that, for the most part, most of them aren’t meant to be listened to in one setting. They rest heavily on the strength of singles and really don’t attempt to be something that the listener isn’t skipping around. That isn’t the case with this album. Da Pulse manages to bring us something that flows well from track to track with good variations in tempo and production styles but is cohesive enough that you don’t feel whiplash as he moves from subject to subject. His flow is gruff and confident, but not annoying and he brings enough changes in that flow to make each track work and shine as a solitary entity while still working as the group.
The production choices are good, though some people will find the reliance on darker beats harder to enjoy than others. What we like about it is that, in a world that is heavily invested in the trap sound, there is none of that here. Every beat has a combination of old school sampling with real instruments and synthetic studio sounds to make them work for a wide range of people and the melodic style will stand out again quite a bit of the hip-hop that’s out there.
If there was one criticism that we can level at the set it’s that, at times, the rhyme scheme is off. We understand that he is going for the lines making sense instead of just sounding good (and, if you can’t make it rhyme, it needs to make sense), but happens often enough (especially in the early tracks) that you do notice and wonder if you missed something. It is majorly offset by the fact that he manages to bring in better rhymes as the tracks wear on, giving multiple rhymes per line and changing up the pattern in a way that keeps things interesting. That serves to make the earlier missteps stand out more, but it also makes them more forgivable.
The best thing about the project is that, while there are a fair amount of turnup tracks here, there is a lot of introspection. This is something that we are very happy carried over from the first EP as it was something that we really liked about it and Da Pulse overall. Rappers that speak on nothing about their money, fame, hoes, and skills are a dime a dozen. Rappers who can make a compelling track about reaching a goal, wanting to build his community, falling in love, and overcoming insecurity are much rarer and bring a lot more in terms of listenability and longevity to their music. Cardiac is definitely a part of that latter group and we hope, as his career grows and he keeps creating, that he continues to provide projects that are balanced and give you something for all moods.
Our favorite tracks are High Note, Stay Grounded, Fear and Fuck How You Feel. The most skippable track is Circle.
Click the buy link in the player to purchase this album and support the artist.