B. Dolan – Live Evel
2008 – Strange Famous Records
As the needle drops on the first side, an upright bass rings out, setting a sparse and contemplative mood for “the Skycyle Blues”. B. Dolan begins to recite his poetry over the track and it becomes clear that something special is to follow throughout this LP. The mix of spoken word and sung lyrics make this a dynamic and interesting record from start to finish. One of the things that I appreciate and admire about B. Dolan is his ability to rap both on top of and behind the beat, depending what is necessary for the song. He sometimes even seems to whisper over the tracks. The singing and rapping isn’t a rapid-fire attack either, the music is allowed to breathe. Dolan’s musicianship is apparent. The variance in his delivery between (and sometimes in within) tunes is a unique quality that separates him from other MCs. As is customary with these reviews, I am going to refrain from commenting on lyrical content and just focus on the musicality as a whole. Most reviews of this type of music rely heavily on the lyrics, which are important, but I find it interesting to look at another aspect of these recorded performances. There is a reason why not all great poets are performers, there is another set of skills that must be honed to take your written work and transform it into music. B. Dolan is a master of his craft. This is definitely an album worth checking out if you haven’t heard it yet.