Incubus – Xeus  (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

f1The term urban music is, like pretty much every journalistic label, too general, too vague, too broad to be of any real use when it comes to discussing music and New York City artist Xeus is the perfect example of why. Yes, most of his references come from music that can be described as contemporary and urban but, as always it is the way that you put those building blocks together, what you can fashion from the raw materials, that makes all the difference. And unlike many artists following the paths beaten by others through familiar territory, Xeus takes his own direction.

R&B, rap, trap beats, ambient hip-hop and even some unexpectedly soulful pop tones find their way into the proceedings, 100 Million Times in particular playing with laid back patterns under the vocals, and if it wasn’t for the directness and blunt images discussed in the lyrics could almost find itself with mass commercial appeal. But this isn’t the world of compromise and Xeus is nothing if not unambiguous in the scenes and scenarious he conjures and it is this balance of some of the smoothest sounds overlaid with the harsh realities of life and the pulse of the street that makes this such a mercurial musical ride.

Although it is easy to pick music apart to see what it is made of, in the case of Incubus, these six songs become more than the sum of their parts when the work is finished and the joins neatly concealed and is easier to defined by what it is the alternative to rather than what it conforms to. It is an old school OG brain on a young pair of shoulders, alt-trap and anti-rap and even in the dark streets of the underground, this seems even deeper, darker and more defiant. In a town of tough musical hombre’s, Xeus is one of the toughest.

Listen to the album HERE and follow Xeus on Twitter and Instagram at @xeuspr


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