Ed Rowe and KVH - Reflective Melody (Review)

Ed Rowe and KVH - Reflective Melody (Essence of Hip-Hop)

 "Reflective Melody" is a collaborative album between Atlanta emcee Ed Rowe and Ukraine hip-hop producer KVH. The album features a guest appearance from Zen-Zin and is fully produced by KVH himself. It was released on September 5, 2014 via Essenchill Records.

1) Once It's All Said And Done - The first song on the album features Ed Rowe doing his thing over a chopped up soulful vocal sample that has a real laid-back feel to it. The beat is dope though and Ed Rowe rips it while rapping about how hip-hop is still alive and well today despite how many feel about it. - 3.5/5

2) Change - This song finds Ed Rowe speaking "for and from the souls of those fed up with police brutality, economic inequality, mass incarceration, and political corruption as a whole" over a somber KVH instrumental. The lyrics are heartfelt and the use of the 2Pac sample on the chorus makes the song even more effective. Very dope. - 4/5

3) Black Rationalist - KVH delivers yet another dope beat on this cut, with a chopped up, soulful sample layered over head nodding drums. Most of the beats so far have been similar in tone, but each has it's own identity. Lyrically Ed Rowe rips it, as expected, rapping about being "not quite an activist, but far from a pacifist." - 3.5/5

4) Any Questions? - The beat on this joint is probably my favorite so far, with another chopped up jazz sample with a real somber feel to it. I dunno why, but something about the beat is hittin' me hard. Luckily the rhymes are just as strong, with Ed Rowe addressing how the media is always looking for the latest scoop and then ends up putting a negative spin on everything. - 4.5/5

5) For The Soul I Was Craving - Ed Rowe speaks on some of his vices over another one of my favorite instrumentals on the project so far. The beat is banging and Ed Rowe's rhymes are quite personal. Dope shit. - 4/5

6) Product of Faith - KVH comes through with another ill instrumental on this cut, mainly centered around another soulful vocal sample over dusty drums. The production on here has a sort of introspective feel to it it that goes along with Ed Rowe's thoughtful rhymes very nicely. Dope track. - 4/5

7) Do It No Justice - Ed Rowe kicks some personal rhymes to his girl over a beautiful vocal and piano loop with shuffling drums. Like the other songs, the beat is real dope and Ed Rowe sounds great over it. - 3.5/5

8) Cry No More (featuring Zen-Zin) - This track finds Ed Rowe linking up with Zen-Zin as both emcees rap about keeping your faith and remaining confident in the face any obstacle. The rhymes are dope and KVH comes correct with the instrumental. - 3.5/5

9) Subtle Nuances - The beat on this joint features a soft piano loop layered over head nodding boom-bap drums and it's just as dope as all of the others. Lyrically the song is just as good as well, with Ed Rowe rapping about how sometimes its the little things that make the bigger impact. - 4/5

10) Change (Remix) - This song is a remix of track two, but the beat and rhymes are original and make it feel more like a new song instead of a remix. The instrumental has a sort of murky feel to it and Ed Rowe's rhymes stick close to the topic of the original song, but act as a different take on the same theme. I actually prefer the original over this one. - 3.25/5

11) Dung-Fu (Bonus) - Ed Rowe kicks some "silly shit" over a chopped up sample that sounds real familiar to me. The beat is dope and Ed Rowe is just having some fun on here. Nice. - 3/5

12) Sadly Mistaken (Bonus) - The final bonus track finds Ed Rowe rapping about hooking up with the wrong chick over a sort of quirky KVH instrumental. It's not my favorite track on here, but not bad. - 2.75/5

I'm going to rate the album

3.75 / 5

because it's quite good. KVH comes through nicely with the production on each track, with many of the beats being centered around chopped up and soulful vocal loops layered over dusty boom-bap drums. Despite the consistent sound of the production, the beats never really feel like rehashes of the previous songs and KVH keeps it interesting the whole time. As far as the rhymes go, you know Ed Rowe is going to come correct. His flow is just as good as it always has been and his lyrics deftly mix substance with humor and just plain having fun on the mic. Overall the project is real dope and is yet another solid release from Essenchill Records.


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