Title: The Most Epic Chillout Album Ever! (EP)
Artist: Skaj da Waidah
Release Date: 21 November 2013
Genre: Chillout / Downtempo
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Label: Dusted Wax Kingdom
So, let’s start with the title ‘The Most Epic Chillout Album Ever!’ That’s quite a promise to try to keep. Not to mention, there is a bit of an oxymoron here by using the words ‘Album’ and ‘EP’ in the title. Typically in music recordings, ‘Album’ refers to a longer complete body of work, while an ‘EP’ is an extended play single. And this work has just five tracks, about half of what a typical album would have. So, it really is an EP. Why not call it ‘The Most Epic Chillout EP Ever!’?
And, moreso, I always think there is another bit of irony… I mean, let’s face it, the title is like painting a target on your back. You know someone will need to one-up your release with Beyond The Most Epic Chillout Album Ever, or The Infinitely More Epic Chillout Album. But, so be it, Skaj da Waidah decided to give his album this name, who are we to argue with a title?
Well, that depends on the music, doesn’t it? Or, maybe I should say, it depends on if the music really is “epic”. And, for the sake of argument, I will believe in the adjective form of epic as meaning “Surpassing the usual or ordinary, particularly in scope or size..” or “Heroic and impressive in quality…” (via Wordnik).
If I took this recording based on the concept that it’s impressive in scope or size, I wouldn’t have all that much to write about. Five tracks, all of them average length, is nothing that is particularly “impressive in scope or size”. However, considering “heroic and impressive in quality..” bears a bit more scrutiny, somewhat. First, we have to mostly forget about the heroic part. There is a quality to these recordings that could be considered (tenuously, at best) an attempt at being heroic, but the term just doesn’t quite fit.
However “impressive in quality” is worth considering.
The release opens with a track that re-works a bit of old 1970’s disco into a more chilled, laid-back sound, but still maintains the shuffle beat and dance-able aspects of the original. Definitely a bit of a fun way to kick off a set of tunes. After this, things start getting more seriously laid back and chilled: nice guitar loops and riffs, over nicely layered rhythm tracks, inserts of quotes from infamous 420 culture movies like “Up In Smoke” abound.
Overall, it’s a good and satisfying listening. Each track is well put together, all the hooks are perfectly lined up, rhythms well matched to the overall tracks, and production is really good. But, that being said, it’s not especially impressive. It’s well above average, a very solid release. But, the release doesn’t live up to the ‘epic’ in it’s title given all the definitions available to work with.
Yes, yes, I’m being a bit over the top on the word ‘epic’. I do get that it was intended in more of the common usage / slang meaning associated with the word today. But when the title of a release uses a level of hyperbole that reaches well beyond the norm, it seemed like a funny way to go about looking at the work.
IOW – it’s a joke that went too far. Typical for me. 🙂