Something great about the current state of Hip Hop is that there are many brands of rap. The variety in form adds versatility to the culture and a facet of intrigue to the blending fusions that take place within genres, cultures and artists. For many, this has been exercised and portrayed by the concoction of LoDeck and Omega One, an emcee/deejay duo that consists of a New York based vocalist and a psychedelic-inspired mixmaster.
Their chemistry is apparent. Omega One's production, a backdrop of gloom, mellow, melodic tones meshes well with LoDeck's hardened vocals as grit meets the atmospheric sounds. They bring a varied tenor, which leads to unpredictable switches within songs and a decidedly funky, impressive beat backdrop. The samples are on point and add a different element to the puzzle as well, considering songs like "Understand U" and "A Day in the Triangle." Front to back, it's difficult to discredit the beat maker for an album well done in terms of production. It's free enough to be different from most of what's out but it's not too wild to sound contrived or tired.
LoDeck brings his usual grit, flow, humor and grimey voice to accompany the soothing sounds Omega One has created. As is expected, Deck's rhymes become complex and can be a bit too much, depending on who is asked. The aesthetic is closer towards that of Aesop Rock [click to read] or MF DOOM. Deck's rhymes are a cross between said artists and some of the lyrics can be confusing or can go over heads. His flow can also become monotonous after some time and that doesn't lend well to such a surprising and well balanced beat selection. Still, for those who want to dive into obscure and unclear vague lyrics to dissect the poetry behind it, this album's complex rhyme style may befit you.
That leads us to the negative aspect of having so many brands of rap. Sometimes, there is a clear line between these brands. That, in turn, leads to separation amongst rap styles that's hard to cross. Postcards from the Third Rock does not beg for many new listeners. Still, it is a conceptual piece and should be applauded or even obtained by those who love the duo, but there are drawbacks, as well. Instead of hearing what LoDeck is saying, some may get lost in a monotonous flow and/or the vague diction. While there are times LoDeck shines with one liners and/or clever song writing, there are also times where LoDeck loses connection with his rhyme style and the inspired beats Omega One chose to back him with. There are also times when the references to the moons and stars ring true to underground "nerd rap" clichés. So, while some have pegged this album as one of the best indie releases of the year, the overall outcome leaves much to be desired as it is an acquired taste that some may never acquire. This is definitely a different brand of rap from what many are used to today and that unique approach is commendable but Postcards from the Third Rock doesn't quite live up to the hype.