Sep 282004
Authors: icholas LoFaro

The acronym band known as H.I.M. (His Infernal Majesty), has

achieved success throughout the years, first catapulted in Bam

Margera’s infamous pre-Jackass underground film, CKY2K.

If you’ve ever wondered where Bam gets his symbol that looks

like a mix between a pentagram and a heart, (heartagram), its

creation originates from the goth-metal band H.I.M. Under a black

spider on the inside of the album case are the words written: “In

Iggy We Trust.”

With Iggy Pop as a collective band influence, it comes as no

surprise that most of the members of H.I.M. look like they are

strung out, and the singer on the cover of the album resembles

Brandon Lee in the Crow. Compared to the first album, this album

shows better-crafted song writing, but lacks the ferocity. The

goth-castle romantic acrobatics propel slow melodic metal with

their love and sorrow-filled lyrics. The love discussed repeatedly

in every song reads more like renaissance poetry than 21st century

metal. The singer seems to draw his low-toned vocal influence from

the likes of Bono and Jim Morrison, and at times in the album

sounds strangely like Bing Crosby.

The first song, “Salt in our Wounds,” is a key track for fans,

however all the heartache, love lost and boo-hoo for the entirety

of the album makes it sound pitiful. Each song is equally droning

and drowning and their refined sound still lacks experimentation.

H.I.M.’s use of organs, churchy ensemble backing vocals and detuned

guitar sounds add to the haunting effect of the album, right in

time for Halloween.

Talib Kweli, “The Beautiful Struggle”

* * * *

Since the days of his Blackstar collaboration with Mos Def,

Talib Kweli has grown in the underground hip-hop scene and has

developed a mature sound while holding on to his values and views

as a human.

Anyone familiar with Talib Kweli knows that he is proactive in

hip-hop to save the world. His fourth album “Struggle” proves that

Talib might be the most respected artist in hip-hop because of the

help he had from big names to make this album.

On the opening song, “Going Hard” Talib raps about the cost of

life outside of corporate America. “Broken Glass,” produced by the

Neptunes, speaks of those less fortunate. “Back Up Offa Me,” “A

game” and “Work It Out,” are songs that are equally friendly on

both the underground scene and in the club. The acclaimed Faith

Evans appears on the chillin’ “We Know.” “Ghetto Show” is a cool

summer jam with Common and Anthony Hamilton. Three key tracks on

the album reveal the strength of Talib. “Around My Way” samples the

Police, a somber song reminiscent of the Biggie tribute song “I’ll

Be Missing You.”

The Kanye West produced “I Try” with Mary J. Blige is easily the

best song on the album emphasizing the changing times: “Get

searched on the plane/Arabic first name/disturbed by the fame/just

like Kurt Cobain/I have trouble trying to write something that bang

in the club all night while people suffer tonight/lord knows I

try.” Jean Grae’s contribution to the song “Black Girl Pain” has

streaming female vocals with lyrics focused on modern-day racism.

Overall, “The Beautiful Struggle” is a timepiece for both hip-hop

and the world, and is Talib’s best efforts to date.

*You can hear more of Talib Kwali on KCSU 90.5 FM

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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