War Tour (2011)
Review by Matthew K.
Whether or not this was the goal of the album, Audio Motel succeeds in giving the listener a sound altogether different than anything else they might have in their music library. Chef Camer1’s particular style of delivery can draw some comparisons to some other artists already out there (this reviewer would choose some sort of mix between Cas Metah and Manafest) but in the end he does in fact possess a style all his own. Error 96 provides a backdrop of beats that keeps in step with Chef Camer1’s unique delivery, of which no real comparison can adequately be made. “Outside the box” seems to be the mantra for Audio Motel, an approach that should be well appreciated.
Both Chef Camer1 and Error 96 start the album off with a track that captures their respective strong points – an assertive and creative instrumental complimented by Chef Camer1’s flow keeping pace to perfection. A great start to the album to be sure. This moves seamlessly into the second track, “Filthy Beatdown,” an upbeat track that Chef Camer1 seems to have some artistic fun with. The title track of the album follows this, and it is one definitely worth a close listening. The two artists seem to hit their stride together to create something noteworthy in this one. A closer (or subsequent) listen will reveal the depths of the metaphor Chef Camer1 uses in the “Audio Motel.” While the subtle frame of faith runs throughout the track, there is still plenty of room for the listener to interpret and apply the metaphor of the motel in their own ways. Other noteworthy tracks include “E.R. Phone Home” in which another metaphor (try and guess what it is) is utilized to portray the palpable distance between this world and the next, a “Haiti Hymn” that calls for active aid and not just good intentions for the country, and a hypnotic, mystical and theological track in “Nature Calls.”
Creativity, while this album’s strong point, may ultimately work against it in the end. This element is inherently woven into each instrumental and lyric throughout, an approach that is to be commended without question (why create something that has already been done, right?). Chef Camer1 and Error 96 stick to their respective guns until the very last track, which again, is something to be respected. The end result may be, however, that a prolonged listen to such an eclectic style may alienate listeners who are not necessarily intent on giving the album a close and open listen throughout. The content is there – be it Chef Camer1’s strong but unobtrusive personal theology or Error 96’s visionary ear for a new sound – but the question remains if this mix will connect with the listening community. This, of course, can only be answered by those who decide for themselves to make their stay at the Audio Motel.
For fans of: War Tour, Jupiter 7