T.Lee – Before The Overpower
Opening with ‘The Crash Part 2’, we’re immediately treated to some vintage sounding guitars, creating a rich and sumptuous vibe.
Eventually, though, those tones give way for the track proper to really kick in. The bass hits hard, and the overall feel remains classy and vintage sounding. From the first few bars, T.Lee’s vocal is up front, with a degree of aggression and grit in his voice, easing off at points a la Kanye. Towards the end of the track, the curtain is pulled back to reveal more vintage samples before some clunky bossa nova beats begin to drop. ‘Right Now’ is more washed out and smooth sounding, with dubstep/garage tones to be found, while the main vocal surfs over the top of the hazy instrumentation. The bass really bounces, and the beats sizzle as the track rolls along with its vocals heavily teated with auto tune to give them a thick coat of stylistic polish. ‘Ducati/The Crash’ floats along with a the glorious sound of a gospel choir unfolding in the background. The vocals are darker in tone here, with T.Lee’s flow never missing a step and making full use of his slightly lower register. Moving into a more pop aesthetic, ‘Henny Hardaway’ works well as a dancefloor track, grooving along with a real intentionality. The bass continues to be truly bouncy and the lyrics are up front and cheeky, with the to be expected hip hop references to ‘the girl’ who, it would seem, is “naughty”, and “thirsty”. ‘Say No More’ opens with some spoken world pep talk about making the ordinary things extraordinary, moving in to intriguing lyrics such as “I don’t need a go sign to know that my mind is a gold mine”. The beats shuffle beneath the track like a tireless miner, making sure the song keeps to its course, while the glacial key tones shimmer and sparkle along in the high range. Things get a little more aggressive with ‘Warrior’, exploding from its first few bars with an industrial vibe and earthy percussion tones added to the mix. The track comes across much like one who is stepping up for a fight, casting glances around the room to see who’s cruising for a bruising. By contrast, ‘Don’t Do That’ makes use of a more cinematic tone, with its James Bond style samples and wild synths that swirl and scream as the track steams itself along. Getting more relaxed, ‘The Separation’ unpacks a huge soundscape of synth tones that ripple along, creating a sonic undertow that pulls the listener along, while the vocals confidently roll over the track. There are plenty of fun moments to be found here, particularly the production techniques that have been used on the vocals, where they get treated to all kinds of pitch shifting, usually down to a low growl, adding to the sense of male bravado that runs through the tracks. Closing with ‘Godzilla’, Before The Overpower once again employs the vintage sounds that it opened with, creating a deep sense of warmth before finally fading out to bring things to an end.