Grieves, 'Together/Apart' (Rhymesayers)

Critical Mass
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Label: Rhymesayers

by Mosi Reeves

Seattle-raised, Brooklyn-based Grieves is inspired by the Minnesota school of confessional hip-hop (Slug, Brother Ali, Eyedea). But he's also an optimist, so despite spilling an hour's worth of personal crises on Together/Apart, he actually locates the "Sunny Side of Hell." "Grab a hold of yourself, and face those days when it seems like it always rains," he sympathizes. While producer Budo creates melancholy set pieces -- from the funereal piano of "BloodyPoetry" to the soulful organ grinding of "Heartbreak Hotel" -- Grieves shines as a friendly, thoughtful voice, gladly ready to share secrets.

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