Haram (studio album) by Armand Hammer & The Alchemist
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Armand Hammer & The Alchemist bestography
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Haram track list
The tracks on this album have an average rating of 77 out of 100 (all tracks have been rated).
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This album is rated in the top 25% of all albums on BestEverAlbums.com. This album has a Bayesian average rating of 73.9/100, a mean average of 72.6/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 74.1/100. The standard deviation for this album is 13.0.
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(Just a cerebral album through and through. Some of these beats are seriously creepy, some of them sound like the aftermath of some full system and societal collapse, still some others are indescribable, they are all fantastic. And the lyricism is next level. I have no complaints or critiques. This is just a brilliant LP.)
I love the way the way all the elements mix here. The rappers sound taut, calculated, as if they are just barely keeping their pure rage in check, while the pure poetry and rhymes roll forth like razor-sharp tidal waves. All this over the top of some of the coolest, eeriest beats I've ever heard. When one of these cold, dark Alchemist tracks is married with a 3-layer-deep Billy Woods or Elucid lyrical explosion, its truly glorious. I can relax to this music, all in all, its very chill and relaxed - at least on the surface. I can just put this album on in the background and it creates a unique and powerful experience. But when I am focused on all the subtle beat switch ups, and the way the samples weave in and out and work alongside truly gorgeous and biting lyricism, the experience is even more potent.
When this first came out I listened and it didn't click fully. Recently I have been putting this on pretty often and each time it sinks its claws into me more and more. At this point its easily my second favorite hip hop album of the year so far - and the one such album I place it behind hardly classifies as hip hop. I just kind of love this cerebral sound, and the way these intensely angry and poetic lyrics + eerie, cold and calculated beats + these tense and urgent flows are all so juxtaposed and yet they complement each other.
I don't really think of this record in terms of individual tracks at all. I couldn't tell you the names of the songs. This is a whole album experience and whenever I have put the album on I have played it through without a glance at the track list. Its an incredibly consistent project, perfect length and not a minute of fluff or nonsense.
"Willie Mays, wind at his back, frozen in friezes
Project shadows deepen, rusting home plate plaque"
Wordsmiths tell dark tales of anxiety and despair over intricate and sinister sounding beats. Lynchian would be an easy way to describe this record especially since they include an interview sample of his. Not a very happy album but it's interesting to explore.
What's immediately obvious is how thick this album is. Clocking in at just below the 40 minutes mark, you get the impression the material would easily justify an extra 10 or so minutes without dragging at all. It's not easy to digest, after two listens I am barely scratching the surface. This has to do with more than one aspects of the album. The production follows a distinct and cohesive direction throughout, but the more you listen, the more layers unfold in front of you. In terms of sound and style, it feels closer to Armand Hammer than The Alchemist, for which credit is due to the latter and is arguably the single decisive factor in the success of this collaboration. Billy Woods never feels like the star of the show, their chemistry is as at the very least as good as ever, though I think it could be even higher than usual, which is another achievement of the production. Their rapping may be somewhat inaccesible at first, especially if you are not familiar with their previous work. They have this almost spoken word delivery, but still wouldn't call it conversational, far too emphatic to be classified as such. The lyrics are as usual surrounded by a veil of thick mist, I guess they will slowly reveal their meaning. All of the above mean that this has extremely high replay value, which is another big plus. Too early to call it album of the year, but I wouldn't be shocked if it ended up playing a major role in the ensuing debate during the following months, great stuff.
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Strong contender for Hip Hop AOTY
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