Grits follows up their smash-hit Art of Translation with Dichotomy A, part one of a 2-part project with its second half Dichotomy B releasing in November. I first received the album a few months ago so I had a while to listen to it. However, with only having one half of a two-album project, the artists have more freedom for each record, which Grits took advantage of on Dichotomy A. Also, to base a review for an entire project on only half of that work, makes it harder and possibly less fair. Nevertheless, these are my thoughts on Grits' Dichotomy A.
After listening to the album for awhile I came to the belief that Grits wasn't going for a full-fledged hip-hop album. Their experimentation with more R&B and reggae influences as well as some smooth jazz expands their talent into new territories for them. If you buy Dichotomy A expecting it to be an extension of Art of Translation, you're in for a surprise.
The album opens up with "Hittin Curves," with some reggae thrown in for good measure. While this is not bad, it isn't what you'd expect from Grits, which leads me to my next point. The song "Anybody" features smooth female vocals that open up the song with a poem and flow into more of an R&B sound. The vocals sing through the next song, "Pardon Me Yo" as well. Her voice compliments the music very well and fits in well with Grits' new sound.
"Get Down" offers more of a smooth jazz, R&B sound while "Bobbin' Bouncin" re-visits Art of Translation with that high energy hip-hop dance club feel, which leads into "Where R U Going?," one of my favorite songs and a highlight on the album. The song opens up with some beat-boxing and a nice mix of piano, basically telling the listener Grits mission statement of their ministry to reach the lost. "Shawty" is a sad song about someone involved in gangs and acts as a song of encouragement to those who may be stuck in the same situation. That's what Grits' ministry is all about.
The message of Dichotomy A is great, which is one thing I'm glad they didn't change. Songs like "Anybody" address modesty, and watching our speech because God listens to what we think before we think it. "Shawty" speaks on the topic of gangs and letting God work in them to realize their true potential. The song "High" addresses letting the Holy Spirit fill you up to soar on angles wings.
Overall, the album is different from what you might expect from Grits. The album blends hip-hop, R&B and jazz together to create a different sound for them. Give the album a listen and allow some time to let it grow on you. Grits took advantage of this double album concept and experimented with some new sounds, heading them in a new direction. I look forward to Dichotomy B to see where they continue to go...- Review date: 6/28/04 (PReview: 05/4/04), written by Kevin Chamberlin
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