The Danish group returns with a bang.
Jaskirt Dhaliwal 2009-10-02
Four years after Closer than Veins, Outlandish have returned with a bang. Sound of a Rebel is a diverse collection of soundscapes, featuring fist-pumping belters like Rock All Day and beautifully melodic counterpoint pieces like Feels Like Saving the World.
When the trio of Lenny, Isam and Waqas first started making music in 1997, they were inspired by hip hop and the idea of expressing musically what their community and environment is like. And nine years on from their debut album, Outland’s Official, they’re still true to their roots, albeit in a slightly watered-down style.
Sound of a Rebel takes many musical directions, and each track sounds different to the next. It winds from hip hop-heavy beats and eastern-influenced electro vibes (The Emperor’s New Beat) to the lyrically challenging Crash n’ Burn, from Latin-licked offering Levanta to the soulful and touching Someday.
The background influences of the band are littered across the whole album, Lenny revealing his roots as he raps in Spanish on almost every track. The layers of depth created from the flair and smoothness of Waqas’ and Lenny’s rapping alongside Isam’s hypnotic voice really complements the range and quality of Outlandish’s matured musical direction. The female collaborations, with Lucy Love and Mala Rodríguez, sprinkle an extra distinctive European flavour, too.
The return of Outlandish was well overdue, and in this outing they’ve made a very accessible and mainstream album whilst reminding us the true essence of hip hop isn’t about bling, cars and booty-shaking girls. They’ve injected addictive beats with affecting lyrics, which never stray far from their socially conscious and spiritual beliefs.