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MC Solaar Mach 6 Review

Album. Released 2004.  

BBC Review

Solaar's music is engaging even if you're not au fait with the lingo.

Jack Smith 2004

Does a tree falling in the woods make a sound if there's no one to hear it? Can a hip hop album rapped in a foreign language be any good if you don't understand what's being said? Whilst the answer to first adage is questionable, the latter is most definitely in the affirmative.

France's undisputed top dawg of rhyme first came to our attention back in 1990, when his debut single, "Bouge de La", made ripples on this side of the Channel following its release on the then burgeoning Talkin' Loud label. Fluid phrasing made up for his lack of English, while the production by studio cohorts Black Rose Corporation surpassed that of many of his contemporaries. His fame quicklyspread beyond Europe, winning over American fans following an appearance on Guru's acclaimed Jazzmatazz project.

Mach 6 is the sixth studio album from the self-styled Poet Laureate of French rap, known to his hommies as Claude MBarali. Regardless of your understanding of the French language, Solaar's delivery is more expressive and emotive then a score of English speaking rappers. At times he sounds sexy and languorous -rapping nicley over slow, stoned beats on "Jumelles" and "Souvenir." Soulful in part, with female back up support ("Introspection","Today Is A Good Day" and "La Vie Est Belle") and aggressively in-ya-face when needed ("Guérilla").

Solaar'smusic is engaging even if you're not au fait with the lingo. The lyrics take on the role of melody as the words slide off his tongue, and far from distracting from the overall listening experience this makes it all the more enjoyable and unique. This album is reccomended, even if you never bothered to go to French at school.

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