It seems as if Mos has always been living to the max beginning with his first independent album, “Black on Both Sides,” in 1999 and he did not pump the breaks for his third independent effort “The Ecstatic.” With 16 short tracks that top off at 4:35, it is a fast 45 minutes of strong music. The Ecstatic is a body of work, uncommon in today’s hip-hop efforts. You won’t find the template party track or the R&B hook and sing songy bars (Roses featuring Georgia Ann Muldrow barely comes close), you will instead find an artist simply creating music. He does not work to hit you over the head with a message but he does manage to create a cohesive body of work with an underlying theme of intelligence. “The Ecstatic” is full of worthwhile listens produced by innovative producers like Chad Hugo (Twillite Speedball) Mad Lib (Auditorium featuring Slick Rick, Wahid, Pretty Dancer) and of course J Dilla (History featuring Talib Kweli). You might skip The Embassy, a nearly 3 minute commentary on the state of flying post-terrorist attacked America the second time you give it spin but you will be forced to allow your ears to dissect the varying layers weaved between his rapping, singing on all the tracks.
Speaking of singing, you know that Mos is going to give you a run per song. On Workers Comp,. he comes out the gate singing but again with tracks on the shorter side, he does not get to hold notes long enough to get on your nerves. As far as comparisons go, it is not quite accessible as his first release “Black on Both Sides” and of course, he also has your familiarity with this style working against him with this third release. Yet in still, it is a strong effort that quiets the whispers about his inconsistency and answers the questions of rather or not he can create music for the listeners without Kweli.
Favorite track: Roses bcuz the message
Dark Horse: Casa Bey, one of the longest tracks that didn’t catch me the first time but now rounds up the piece nicely.
Banger: History– featuring Kweli and Dilla, the stats sound like it should be a winner and it is!