Indie (November 9, 2010)
Review by Matthew K.
Artists who endeavor to make themselves vulnerable or genuine in their music run the risk of, in the end, coming off as artificial. Alabaster Kin has taken this risk in their End of the Road EP in an attempt to truly reveal their inner most selves over a collection of unique instrumentals. They excel with ease on this point in this short EP. There is nothing superficial to be found in these tracks. Change and BillyBo offer themselves up in such a way that they are made instantly relatable to any who listen. What they say is what they mean, and what is heard is what is meant. It should be recognized how important their accessibility is in light of both artists’ incredible lyrical talents. The content contains a great deal of substance, their delivery is masterful, and perhaps most important of all is that they are absolutely believable. End of the Road bears the hallmark of humility without even trying to acquire it.
This is a refreshingly musical project that provides an alternative sound to the more familiar boom-bap or synth-laden sounds of the genre. This is not to say their sound is superior, only that it gives the genre a little more diversity. At the end of the title track “End of the Road” the artists take a playful shot at the more stereotypical radio-ready rap song, taking part in a short excerpt of a bass-heavy, money-boasting, crunked-out track. One listen to the sound and content of “End of the Road,” the song preceding this farce, and the humor becomes obvious. The choruses on each track are catchy and will most likely continue to resonate after the album has been played through. They do the artists justice in supporting the genuine feeling they convey in their respective verses.
As much as there is to say about the sound, content and talent of these artists, it is equally important to recognize the spiritual dimension contained in this EP. Change and BillyBo share their faith on these tracks in a manner that draws the listener into their experiences. Their respective journeys are seemingly not complete, not perfect, not fully disclosed even to themselves – and therein lies the beauty. These are two individuals who fully recognize that they are works in progress in their walks with God. While this reality is made known explicitly at some points (see “Road to Nowhere”), it is where they don’t comment directly on it that their genuine passion shines through. End of the Road is a personable, reflective, humble outpouring of two emcees who seek to find their way in God in this life, welcoming the listener to come along with them and do the same.
For fans of: Change, BillyBo