Release Date: Oct 5, 2010
Record label: Black Box Recordings
Genre(s): Rap, Pop/Rock, Alternative Rap
If Drake is Canada's answer to larger-than-life American rappers like Lil Wayne, Shad is our answer to someone like Blu: a sharp, hyper-articulate post-backpacker who still has everyday problems. [rssbreak] Throughout his third album, Shad takes an ego-free stance while proving he can rap his ass off, like on the Dottie West-sampled Rose Garden and the Billy Bragg-inspired At The Same Time, a complex, emotional outpouring that connects at a basic level. There's no talk of playing lyrical chess or having near-psychic mental capacities.
Shad’s TSOL is a type of album that’s increasingly difficult to address. It’s the type of album that doesn’t require much more than pressing play and paying attention to get what makes it good, in such a way that you know it’s not just one of those albums that pushes your buttons right at the moment. DJ T Lo opens the album with a brooding, beautiful piece of low-key mixing before the album breaks out with the soulful, extremely energetic “Rose Garden”.
Earnestness in hip-hop has been synonymous with corniness for far too long; at some point we have to get rid of this post-backpacker hangover. For all the indie-rap iconoclasts who've gone introspective somewhere between "Through the Wire" and "Thank Me Now", there's still a sense that the average-thoughtful-dude persona is less appealing than the larger-than-life shit-talker. And why not? The shit-talkers are more fun.