Reviewed by: Brian Roser
The album opens up with a percussive beat that melds into a synth rhythm that would not be out of place in a science fiction movie. What follows is poetic to be sure, but delivered in this strange half song, half spoken word format that was difficult for me to categorize. I looked them up on Wikipedia and the first sentence of their page calls them a hip-hop duo, which I don’t think is accurate. Under genres, however, they amended this to ‘alternative’ hip-hop, which fits them perfectly.
THEESatisfaction is a Seattle duo made up of Catherine Harris-White and Stasia Irons. This is their second album and it is saturated with originality. I love their word play and vocal acrobatics, not to mention the social and political commentary not often heard from a female point of view. All this with a calm, but thoughtful beat that’s best enjoyed with a glass of something mind-altering.
As much as I would like to give it, I can’t justify a rating of ‘bad-ass’. The music isn’t completely polished. There are some low notes that she goes for, but can’t quite hit. In later tracks, they coast too long on the surreal flavor of their sound and it would improve the album if they mixed it up a bit from one song to the next.
The second part of a trilogy is often the weakest. The first showcases something new and fresh and the third brings the climax. The middle is just a means to get from one point to another. THEESatisfaction is strengthening their style and trailblazing a new path for their music, but I don’t think they’re quite there yet . I would not be surprised, however, if they hit the third album out of the park.
I once bemoaned the inability of hip-hop artists to transcend the destructive clichés of their genre. Well, ladies and gentlemen, EarthEE is how it’s done.