Release Date: Oct 30, 2012
Record label: Anti
Genre(s): Rap, Pop/Rock
You will not hear a finer accordion solo on a rap record this year than the one in the Coup's "We've Got a Lot to Teach You, Cassius Green." The song also has 2012's most furious washboard solo, and its most wild-eyed indictment of corporate oligarchy: "The assistant crouched at the monster's feet . . . in a puddle of urine and meat." The Coup's sixth LP is stuffed to the gills: with Boots Riley's radical politics and conceptual lyrics; with unexpected guests (Jolie Holland, Japanther); with punk beats.
P.O.S. :: Chill, dummyDoomtree RecordsAuthor: Patrick TaylorI've been a fan of Stefon "P.O.S." Alexander since his debut nearly 10 years ago. On "Audition" and 2009's "Never Better," he proved himself to be one of the few artists who could successfully meld punk rock and hip-hop. Fellow Minnesotans ….
During the six years between Pick a Bigger Weapon and Sorry to Bother You, the Coup survived a disastrous bus crash. Leader Boots Riley aligned with Tom Morello as Street Sweeper Social Club, and he also toured with Galactic. More significantly, Riley became a driving force in the Occupy Oakland movement -- something that could have fueled an album's worth of ideas.
Oakland's The Coup return with a new disc of socially aware hip-hop, six years removed from their well-received Pick a Bigger Weapon. Boots Riley and company haven't lost their edge—or their sense of humor. Politically conscious without ever coming close to being overbearing, Sorry to Bother You gets its messages across plainly (taking on the education system in the punkish "Strange Arithmetic;" corporate meddling in scientific research in "The Gods of Science") without preaching.
Raging against societal injustice is thankless, exhausting work; over the long haul, even the most determined firebrands go either stale or shrill. Boots Riley, leader of the radical Oakland rap group the Coup, has raged longer and harder than most, but somehow, on sixth album Sorry to Bother You, he sounds as nimble, funny, and wry as ever. There are a few signs of strain-- that self-deprecating album title, for one, which is a far cry from the incitement of 1998's Steal This Album.
Even if they broached the taboo topics of politics and religion, I bet Boots Riley, the Coup’s chief rapper and organizer, would get along famously with Garth Brooks. Brooks has friends in low places, and Riley’s got love for the underdog. Brooks once showed up in boots (hey!) to ruin his ex’s black tie affair, promising, “Honey, we may be through / But you’ll never hear me complain.” On the new “My Murder, My Love”, Riley hopes his ex’s new guy fits the tux, adding, “Let me clarify things with the way I strut / So I can shout with my mouth shut.” He’s apologetically titled the Coup’s sixth album Sorry to Bother You, and if you buy that, maybe you’ll believe Garth Brooks doesn’t mean to cause a big scene.
Boots Riley is a Marxist. This can be substantiated by nearly every stanza of every song he’s recorded. He usually turns his political messages into hip-hop bangers under the apt moniker The Coup, but on Sorry to Bother You (which conveniently drops a week before the presidential election), Riley trades boom-bap for the live instrumentation of a full-fledged backing band.
Bat for Lashes Passions run high, and so do musical ambitions, in the songs of Natasha Khan, the English songwriter who records as Bat for Lashes. “Never whisper you a great love story/Only scream and cry and moan,” she sings on her third album, “The Haunted Man” (Capitol). With the ….