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Blueprint “Sign Language” Review

Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

In a move slightly more akin to his Soul Position partner, RJD2, Blueprint focuses primarily on his beats while wading through a sea of organ and soulful samples on his latest album Sign Language. A true followup to Blueprint’s 2004 instrumental release, Chamber Music, Sign Language is a largely instrumental mix that combines down-tempo grooves with compressed sounds of organ, drums and the occasional guitar. The eight-song album has a unique flavor to it, and the sound feels warm and organic throughout despite being largely influenced by the Entroducing-era DJ Shadow (though that could be said of the majority beat-makers’ tracks since the landmark album’s release).

“Untitled,” the album’s lone track to feature any substantial vocals, drifts through a sad balance of harmonies and offsetting beats, guided by a steady drum and organ groove. Coming roughly half way through the album, the song stands out due to its beat, which initially sounds like Sign Languages slowest point (rhythmically), with everything else coming before and after seemingly leaning on it for support. The album’s opener, “Numb,” is a track so illuminated with funk and accented electronics that it immediately brings to mind something you’d expect a wry executive to sneak into a Prius commercial. “Numb” comes in great contrast to the slow moving songs that immediately follow “Untitled;” the subsequent songs leveling off into a steady flow again by the time the album concludes with “6 a.m.” Sign Language’s single flaw? At only 27 minutes long, you barely get a taste for the sounds before the music fades away.