Chames – Siddhartha’s Revelations – Album Review
Having no clue what I’d be in for with this album from Chames, when it first began with the 20th Century Fox theme music, I had to almost chuckle a little. Chances are – I figured from that moment on – or hoped rather – that there would be an album full of smart social commentary to follow.
What I actually got was so much more than that. This might be one of the tightest rap/hip-hop albums I’ve ever heard in my entire life; it was SO good that on the first time around I actually skipped over the two bonus tracks in straight-up FEAR that somehow the quality would dip from the amazing music that spans the length of Siddhartha’s Revelations. Eventually I caved to my curiosity and a virtually audible-guarantee from the seven previous tracks which completely assured me that ANYTHING coming from the microphone of Chames is going to be worth my time.
Welcome to one of the new faces of rap people – no joke, Chames WILL BE HUGE – and he’s done everything right with an exciting display of dynamic skills on his new album, Siddhartha’s Revelations.
LISTEN to the way he starts the album out! You’ve seen people DIE from taking in more oxygen than what Chames allows himself to have throughout the verses found in “Life.” It literally doesn’t get any more professional, direct and confident than the way this album opens up; it’s flat-out one of the most impressive starts to album you’ll ever hear. Not over-complicated, smart & minimal like it was blessed by Yeezus himself – the opening-cut “Life” not only starts off Siddhartha’s Revelations off sharply – it raises the expectations of what’s to follow it through the ROOF and out into SPACE.
Considering the multitude of producers with their own styles & input bound to creep in, you’d almost assume that Siddhartha’s Revelations would sound like it lacked cohesion – but nothing could be further from the truth. The metering, the lyrics and straight-up level of skill bonds each of these songs together tightly…despite different hands & ears producing him along the way, Chames has retained his style, sound & identity throughout each song. “Freedom Papers” featuring Nick Arter becomes another instant highlight through its intensity in both the lyrics and music; the power & energy that comes through over the mic let loose by both MC’s deserves maximum respect. Already being massively impressed with Chames – it’s damn rare you can hear two rappers this incredibly skilled back-to-back without at least knowing ONE of them already! I had no idea who either of these guys were before this album started…but you can be damn sure I’ll remember the names of Nick Arter and Chames for many, many years to follow. As “Freedom Papers” progresses, it becomes rooted in a free-jazz sound, with the rap becoming more like free-styled poetry…the lyrical story is a wild ride based in raw-truths and comes to a full conclusion at the end of its tale.
Chames hits up a rad old-school beat & sound to go with the more R&B-influenced groove that surrounds the atmosphere of “All That Matters.” Cruising from 0-100mph right off the line, this dude fires up verses like words were born combustible…his speed is incredible, his precision is astounding and his clarity is crystal. Beyond impressive, really. While Chames doesn’t flex the fast muscle all throughout “All That Matters,” he can clearly switch into a quick rhyme at any given moment, but for this particular moment matches the pace and energy of this smoothed-out & chill beat without over-doing it. He takes just as much time to make sure the tone & melody in these words rings just as true as the lyrics themselves and that they firmly echo the passion in his performance.
While I’d never say that “All Night” is anything less than complex to assemble…I will say that this particular cut did sound comfortable for Chames…not easy necessarily…but ‘in-the-pocket’ as they say. J-Hunta who both produces and guest stars delivers a solid verse with lyrics that really reflect the work put into this track…the chorus…I mean…it’s an undeniable hook, there’s no doubt about that…but almost…ALMOST…too comfortable. Really dig the stereophonic ending to the vocals on this cut; I might just be rebelling against what I know would instantly catch on with the dance-crowd out there – I think there’s a lot more to Chames than big-beat dance-floor music.
And I wouldn’t say he was necessarily outshined by J-Hunta in the previous track, but you can audibly hear Chames spring back to vibrant life in “Last Call” as he two-steps back into the spotlight and owns it completely. Extremely charismatic with his words and delivery, he’s still working a very danceable rhythm on “Last Call” but somehow with a more inspired performance that really brings the energy in the combination of lyrics & music out in full.
Personally I dig the more serious-side of this homeboy. Borrowing a sample from Yeezus, “Sunday” pulses along with masterful lyricism that NEEDS to be heard – the words are freakin brilliant and flow together perfectly. Once again finding the right emotional-gear to convey the message alongside the music, Chames is captivating as hell as he rolls through “Sunday” like it was all-week long & just another day in the life OF. Thematically, it stays on-point…the narrative once again tells a full-story and comes to a decisive ending; I could see perhaps a few people struggling with the dip into the dark that Siddhartha’s Revelations takes at this point after the two highly danceable tracks beforehand…but it certainly worked for me.
“The River” officially ends the album before you have the option (DO IT) to listen to the bonus tracks. Featuring Ellis presumably laying down the R&B-touch to the smooth-hook in the chorus surrounding some of the most intense, precise and trickily-quick verses from Chames on the album to this point – and that’s saying a LOT. The guy has been in full beastmode ever since the album began and has continued to deliver verse after verse of audible gold. I can’t speak to just how long he spends on his lyrics and how these words bend to the bars of the music – but I can tell you that 99% of the other MC’s out there couldn’t master Chames’ natural skillset in their entire lifetime. There’s a world-class talent here on the microphone…you can all remember I said it when Chames is all-over the map in two years. The final cut really does a lot to bring about a full batch of the best of what Chames has been bringing to the table…and I’d be more than satisfied with the album if it had ended there.
Now…you already know that there was no real way I was going to be able to resist listening to the final two bonus cuts…but I had ZERO chance of resistance after experiencing just how good Siddhartha’s Revelations really IS. “All Of Me” brings back superstar Nick Arter, which is AWESOME as far as decision-making goes and he answers the call in-full once again, cash the cheque, this guy is good to go EVERY TIME. Big shout out to Chames on this bonus-cut though – he reminds me of Common as he spits out the verse in this second to last song and it’s another powerful performance that assures you have made the right decision in listening to the bonus material instantly.
Detailing the struggle that many of us have been through in the final track “The Art” – you get more insight into the true-character of Chames and what drives him to grind as hard as he is to be the best. The beat is light & jazzy – the subject is serious; it’s that contrast of light music that allows the depth of the lyrics and meanings to really sink in to any set of ears that might be listening.
All I can say that hasn’t already been said is that I sure as hell hope that SOMEONE out there IS listening – this guy completely deserves the million dollars he’s hustling for – Chames is a phenomenal talent.
Find out more from the official homepage of Chames at: http://www.chambersthepoet.com
Join the thousands of bands & artists reviewed at sleepingbagstudios by clicking here!