RZA – 'RZA Presents: Bobby Digital Versus The Pit Of Snakes' Album Review
1. Under The Sun 2. Trouble Shooting 3. Something Going On 4. We Push 5. Cowards 6. Fight To Win 7. Celebrate Life 8. Live Your Own Rhythm (Outro)
This effectively is a concept album to accompany a new graphic novel starring RZA’s alter ego Bobby Digital. I haven’t read the graphic novel so have no context which may have helped but I also genuinely had no idea what to expect from this album having had no previous experience of Bobby Digital or indeed RZA, it therefore came as a massive surprise just how good this is!
It’s a mix of Rap, Soul, Rock, Pop and Hip Hop that I just can’t stop listening to, what it’s about I still haven’t worked out but I’m going to keep listening until I nail it down. It made me want to fight, to sing, to resist and to dance, isn’t that what great albums should do?
At times it’s full on, at times it's introspective but the overall vibe is a mellow, soulful one that is never less than full of controlled anger, emotion, confusion and very clear signs of an artist on a journey.
What his destination is I’m not sure but the it’s worth hitching a ride for music this good. This will make you want to exercise your mind and your hips. If it reminds me of anything it’s Guru’s Jazzamataz but only in how it slides easily between genres, pace and styles and it has a Hammond organ! At one point it even sounds a bit like Marc Almond has showed up to contribute vocals (I’m positive it’s not him!) but it reaches the level of showmanship and almost bombast that he can bring to music without even trying, this is genre defying quality musicianship, rapping, singing and writing. Not every album could get away with some of the things tried here but it all just fits, it all just works and it will just make you want to listen again.
Is there nothing Bobby Digital can’t do? I hope this is going to turn into a series as I’ve not enjoyed my first listen to an album I had no expectations of quite so much in quite a while!
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Review - Iain McClay