Album Review: By The Time I Get To Phoenix by Injury Reserve
Excellent, Based on 5 Critics
Sputnikmusic - 100 Based on rating 5.0/5
Injury Reserve are a hip-hop group who make music that is fundamentally based in Rhythm & Poetry. Their latest release, By the Time I Get to Phoenix, was catalysed by an improvised DJ set of their very own rap music in a small club which yielded surprising and fascinating results. Using our rich powers of deduction and boundless knowledge of genre conventions, we can confidently state th-
"this is NOT a hip hop album"
sputnikmusic user JayEnder, September 15th, 2021
Huh? It sure seems an essential slice of taxonomy to lend context to this album.
On June 29, 2020, one of Injury Reserve's founding members, Jordan Alexander "Stepa J. " Groggs, tragically passed away at 32 years old. The yin to member Nathaniel Ritchie's yang, Groggs' contributions to the trio's music were integral to their appeal and success.
Across nearly 19 minutes, Isaac Hayes' cover of Jimmy Webb's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" expands Webb's lovelorn tale into a soul epic, dilating the original's neat pop structure into a smoldering haze. On their first album following the death of member Stepa J. Groggs, Injury Reserve channels the spirit of Hayes' remake, stretching their signature noise rap into freeform thickets of texture and tension.
Alternative rap group Injury Reserve have spent the latter half of the 2010's gaining Internet traction for a string of eclectic mixtapes and EPs. The buzz created from these projects culminated in the release of their 2019 self-titled debut album, which was met with acclaim and afforded them the star power necessary to headline their first ever world tour. Tragedy struck one year later with the passing of member Stepa J.
Following the passing of band member Stepa J. Groggs in June 2020, the way forward for experimental hip-hop group Injury Reserve was unclear. But just a month ago, the remaining members - producer Parker Corey and rapper Ritchie with a T - came forward on social media to announce 'By The Time I Get To Phoenix', a new record named after the song by Isaac Hayes.