THE LOVE WAS NEVER HIDDEN – NOA JAMES
Updated: Mar 5
Noa James has proven to be a conqueror of the weird and vibey. I’ve credited him for getting experimental on projects like Peace of Cake, for just delivering his in-the-pocket bangers on projects like Adventures of Young Orca and his collab album with Nuglife and for seeming to do BOTH on projects like Cherry Yellow Glow.
Now I realize, he’s just going to keep doing different styles until he has clutch-ass projects in all these different subgenres. He’s conquering spaces and we get to hear the process. This album is an earnest continuation of his themes of healing and bettering the self through the embrace of love. The beats and features here are like a slow-rolling tidal wave of groove below you. “Love will set you free” is my favorite piece on the record, at least for now anyway. It reminds me of Lupe Fiasco classics, and rock singles from Spoon or Elton John. Produced by Aye Brook, it is a dense, layered, melodic yet powerfully-bassy setting for Noa and James Gardin to speak truth on.
On this project, James deftly swerves and shifts on song to song from melodic modern pop-rap to soulful jazzy indie-rap jams and much territory in between. Dive into the whole delicious meal, you won’t regret it. You’ll probably be hungry for more.
Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is a staff writer for Zus Entertainment, a Jooseboxx and Untapped Hip-Hop contributor, and member of the Inland Empire, California based nerdculture hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers