Cityreal – The Beginning (Album) [Review]
Vancouver, B.C. – Cityreal has released his first full-length album The Beginning, and from the beginning this joint's a banger. He brings the West Coast and Vancity sound (if there could said to be one Vancouver sound) to another level. The album features hype melodic beats coupled with conscious but catchy rhymes and crisp production.
From A to Z, The Beginning starts off on the right foot and stays on track. This is a real album, it's conceptually thought-out with a true beginning, middle and end which reflect Cityreal's skill as a songwriter as much as his abilities as an emcee and producer. He handled all the production on the album – making and arranging all the music and vocals himself – which lends to each track being a uniquely individual song.
From the title track opener to the album's last song “Out Of Time” there's a continuous and cohesive flow to the whole recording. An uptempo flow at that, both in his his percussion as well as his verses. Song after song is a neck snapper, and with guitar riffs and piano melodies leading most tracks, every song is undeniably catchy. Waving the Vancity flag sky-high, Cityreal has many of the city's most talented artists collaborating with him: heavyhitters Kyprios, Moka Only and Narai all shine with their contributions, and their appearances keep the album from ever becoming redundant. Each song has a clearly thought-out theme or concept: from “Liar” to “Soul On The Track” or “Change,” each track is original in its own right, which keeps the album interesting and the listener engaged.
This CD stayed in my deck longer than most local albums and ended up providing the perfect soundtrack to a country drive on a beautiful sunny day, though it would probably be as fitting on a drive back from the club on a late night. Even my Betty Page-esque pierced metalhead girl was feeling every song. Cityreal's The Beginning represents Vancouver as well as it does hip-hop culture in general, and it's unlikely any hip-hop head wouldn't be vibing to it upon first listen.
Written by Jesse Furnell for HipHopCanada