If you haven’t heard of Standing Ovation, don’t feel bad. I honestly had never heard of them until I reviewed their new EP, Echo Park. SO is a unique duo made up of rapper The Character out of LA and producer Bronze Baby Shoes from Virginia. I had no idea what to expect going in to the four track project, but was pleasantly surprised at the unique sound nonetheless.
The way many people look at Young Thug as an eccentric character in today’s game is the same way you could look at SO. Their sound is like a combination of 70’s trip-rock blended with hip-hop. While that may seem like a strange combination it definitely works in places and had me very curious. I couldn’t listen to Echo Park just once either. This was a collection of music that definitely needed some deeper analyzation.
Here’s the four tracks:
The drums opening this track are absolutely sick. Then the unexpected happens. A crazy high pitched voice singing “It’s Freaky” comes out of nowhere, and at first I honestly had to question if this was serious. I was really taken aback, but then found myself enjoying it a little more after each listen.The pitch change between the singing an rapping is a nice tonal variation that further adds to the group’s individuality. You can watch the very creative and different video for freaky below:
“Fresh as fuck / I’m looking vicious” is the how the first verse begins, and the way it’s said is with such conviction and – forgive me – SWAG. The background is filled with an ambient and warped sound that takes you to a very chill place. It makes you feel “supercharged,” as in your style and vibe is above the rest. This track is a big highlight, and an easy pick for the best on Echo Park.
The flow and tone on this track sounds very similar to Schoolboy Q’s, a big plus. The high pitched voice returns on the chorus, but this time it’s more or less just squawking. However, it fits somewhat nicely over the whispered “blackout.” The verses here are some of the strongest on the album, as it felt the rapping was more emphasized and contained a stronger lyrical effort. Instrumentation was once again on point, using some well placed guitar riffs and drums.
This track has the slowest pace of all the joints on the EP, and it heavily features the high pitched singing/squawking that is mentioned previously. This is my least favorite on the EP as it doesn’t draw me in as much as the others and the chorus seems to lack substance. While this track didn’t land well with me, it still had some worthwhile moments of quality sound.
Overall this EP was very interesting. I’m not willing to say it’s great or anything, but it was good. It had its moments. While at times I had to question what was going on with the lyrics, it still kept making me want to go back and listen. SO has a knack for making these unusually trippy beats, and they are doing something way different in hip-hop right now than any other artist I can think of. Maybe along the lines of Kid Cudi’s latest album, except with less grungy sounds and far more listenable. If SO keeps working, they have the potential to put out some really good music in the future. This EP, to me, shows a young group still working on building their sound, which is dope, but could definitely use some fine tuning. The singing on the EP is what might turn most people away, but could also be the thing that draws people in. You can listen to Echo Park below, and let us know your thoughts on them in the comments.