Review: Witness – The Everafter LP (2010)
There is a magic to the internet these days. Some people find love forever or just for one night through dating websites. Some find old friendships or family members through Facebook. I happened to find a date, through Twitter. A date with a new LP, that is. As most social networks these days people share everything they are into. For me it’s music. Catch my Tumblr, Facebook, or Twitter at any given moment. If I’m not lamenting about a recent “single girl” mishap, or telling a tale of Jameson, you can bet you’re going to find an artist I think you should know about. Twitter is how I was introduced to Witness.
Thanks to Rhymesayers and Doomtree the Twin Cities has proven to dish out some of the best underground emcees including, Atmosphere, P.O.S., Dessa, Brother Ali, the late Eyedea among others. Newcomer to the scene is Witness(John Parr), a transplant from Pennsylvania is making his mark and getting steady footing in the land of 10,000 lakes.
The Everafter LP is the finale in a set of three EP’s from the past five years. Witness brings back the soothing sounding, jazzy groves of early 90′s Hip-Hop, similar to A Tribe Called Quest with equal stylings of De La Soul. Comprised of only ten songs this album may be short, but it is emotes a sensuous vibe that leaves you wanting more. A personal narrative this story telling album takes you though a story with each song. Sunburn, a song reminding us to “Love like you never knew the definition of it”. I don’t know for a fact, but this sounds like the type of song made on a gloomy, snowed in day in Minneapolis.
Among the mixes and his rhymes, Witness has taken dialogue samples and edited them into various songs. These samples vary from 60′s vinyl to Princeton University radio station. With my personal favorite after the Sunburn a monologue about Sun Ra by Dr. Reggie Scott. For the most part, this album is ripe with down-tempo beats and matching storytelling rhymes. Although it delivers well upbeat stylings in songs, Holden Caulfield and Home Tonight. Two Step showcases Witness’ more fast paced stylings.
It’s easy to see Witness fitting in with the likes of Atmosphere and Grieves. Although this man can surely stand on his own. The Everafter LP I hope is only the tip of the iceberg for this budding artist. With piano, guitar, saxophone and solid, steady beats to get you in a groove The Everafter LP is a perfect listen for this upcoming winter. Trapped inside on a gloomy day? Make yourself a nice whiskey filled hot toddy, toss this on and let Witness relax you and take care of the rest. If you’re lucky enough to listen to this LP in the company of an actual date (be it from the internet or the corner bar), you may really get lucky.