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27. Mai 2016
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CODENINE Review via Bandcamp (Seven Essential Releases): https://daily.bandcamp.com/seven-essential-releases/essential-releases-february-5-2021

Like Ghostface and MF Doom before him, the Lynn, MA rapper CODENINE has a rhyme style that favors free-association over linear narrative. Over the course of his latest album LVNDR – Base & Beauty—which works its way into your bloodstream slowly and then refuses to leave once it does—he strings together clusters of images in ways that conjure specific moods and tones and feelings rather than lumbering from one plot point to the next. They’re also densely packed with double and triple meanings, so much so that to begin to unpack them is to ruin the very thing that makes them work; it’s better to just let the wordplay—”that purple make you grimace”; “told my juicer and the jeweler both to up the carats”; “you still slingin’ out your mother’s?/ that’s a parent trap”—hit you all at once. The best parts come in striking, vivid jolts that land fast but leave you with rich, cinematic detail: “Borderline persona got me p-noid on the freeway/ I’ve been sitting by the door with guns for three days in my PJ’s.” The production remains spare and noir-ish throughout, contributing to the album’s “city in the ‘70s” vibe (I’m particularly fond of the smoky trumpet-and-flute backdrop of the moody “Anastasia.”) Each time you listen to LVNDR, you catch another tossed-off joke, another sharp reference, another line that can be taken seven different ways at once. It’s a crime novel as written by William Burroughs, dealing in sense meaning, captivating every time.

J. Edward Keyes
 
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