“The Temple of I & I”
Thievery Corporation has been blending world music with electronica for over two decades. This Washington D.C. outfit is always keeping it fresh while incorporating groovy elements from the past. The new album “The Temple of I & I” mixes together lots of styles and has a very fun vibe.
This album draws a lot from hip-hop. Critique of government and a desire to fight for a more conscious world comes through in a lot of the songs. “Letter to the Editor” is a hip, fast and lyrical rap jam with an infectious chorus and some cool atmospheric effects.
“Ghetto Matrix” is another fierce hip-hop track with some hard hitting lyrics from Mr. Lif. The chorus has a cool hook and repeats “It’s on you/ It’s your mind/ It’s a complex plan to keep you confined”. Social awareness runs prevalent throughout the album.
I was surprised to find so many straight-up roots reggae tracks on here. “Strike the Root” has that classic keyboard skank and a sweet horn section punctuating the breaks. The feel is super groovy and the vocals are a spot on island sound.
“True Sons of Zion” is another sweet reggae track with a mid-tempo feel, some nice delay on the vocals, and an impassioned chorus singing in unison with a lone trumpet. The lyrics are straight up Rasta and delivered beautifully.
There are also a few electronic / trance / dubstep jams on here too. The album-title song “The Temple of I & I” is one. Thievery Corporation does an awesome job using modern technology to create interesting and catchy riffs. I love hearing people who are on the cutting edge of new music, pushing the line into fresh territory.
Some slower atmospheric stuff emerges in the middle of the album. French lyrics abound in “Time & Space”. The next track “Love Has No Heart” is another downtempo song with emotional vocals and sensual lyrics. Despite being a little more relaxedl, these songs have steady rhythm and interesting sound effects fill the space in the sparse arrangements.
“The Temple of I & I” is an album that keeps rolling strong from front to back. After the chill section, it kicks into second gear with some very cool tunes. There are a few more reggae tunes and some really catchy hooks all the way through.
It’s pretty cool to hear an album that covers so many styles, yet blends them seamlessly together without forcing it. The songs all seem like members of a family and give the album a very cohesive feel. I’m going to be listening to this one for a while. Highly recommended.
Two Ton Music