Wednesday, June 7, 2023

A.D.O.R. – The Concrete (25th Anniversary Edition) 2xLP (/300)


Hip-Hop Enterprise (2019, Reissue)

Every Wednesday, in honor of Ed Lover Dance Day from Yo MTV Raps, I take a break from rock and roll to write a little bit about hip hop. In the late 80s and early 90s hip hop ruled my musical life. During this often called 'Golden Era' I discovered so much incredible music. As I am slowly replacing the CDs I've had for twenty-five plus years with vinyl copies, I'm going to talk about some albums that had a really important impact on me during some very formative years.

I can't actually remember how I stumbled across A.D.O.R..  I think it was digging through Discogs trying to find more albums that Pete Rock had worked on.  This album was originally released in 1994 by Atlantic records, though it seems like it only came out in Germany.  Digging around on Wikipedia and the like it seems that The Concrete was scheduled to be released by Atlantic, but was shelved and A.D.O.R. was dropped.  That would probably explain me never having heard of it, but it's still a little confusing how.why it got released in Germany.  Anyway...

Hip-Hop Enterprise, a record label out of Belgium, released the full album on vinyl in 2019, to celebrate the album's twenty-fifth anniversary.  It's nice to be able to get a copy of the record, but it's kind of uneven.  When I first checked it out to see if it was something I felt like picking up, I came pretty close to bailing on it as the first four tracks (the first being a short intro thing) are all pretty mediocre.  The beats are kind of uninspired and the rapping is really not up to the standards of the era.

Things don't really click until we hit the fifth song, "Day 2 Day."  While the rapping doesn't improve dramatically, A.D.O.R. is helped out big time by an absolutely killer beat cooked up by Willy Gunz.  The smooth "Oooooohh" vocal sample packed together with a great drum beat makes this the first can't miss track for me.  Then we have "Let It All Hang Out."  This is the Pete Rock produced track that hits as hard as anything on the first CL Smooth record.  Pete was pretty unstoppable back then and he really elevates A.D.O.R.'s game with this one.

The rest of the album has it's ups and downs.  Nothing on the record is flat out bad, but there are definitely songs that aren't going to impress anyone.  Why the album is so front-loaded with average songs is a mystery to me, but if you are patient and have time to go along for the ride, The Concrete has moments worth investing some time in.

A.D.O.R. – The Concrete:

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