Grieves - Together Apart

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Together/Apart is musical therapy for those who find themselves caught under the pressures of life.

A few years back critics attempted to box rappers who dropped a 16 about relationship problems or mental distress under the label “Emo Rap.” While well-intentioned, the term vastly undermined the significance of their music, with acts like Atmosphere and Cage connecting with fans on an intimate level that went beyond double entendre metaphors. Grieves makes this same presence felt on his latest effort Together/Apart, an album that caters to the broken and weary.

For those unaware of the 27-year-old’s earlier years, the emcee fills in all the key details with the album-opening “Lightspeed.” Over somber piano keys Grieves delves into his childhood affinity for pogs and tomagatchi’s, getting caught up in drugs and finding salvation through music. The record “Heartbreak Hotel” best displays his balance of vocal crooning and rapping as he examines a relationship gone sour while a dampened melody sets the mood. With that said, Together/Apart is not all gloom and doom. “Against The Bottom” is one of the lighter moments, with Grieves seeing the upside in the uncertainties of life.

A familiar sight from their previous project 88 Keys And Counting, Budo’s layered production provides Grieves with a sound that perfectly complements his melancholic rhymes. Flipping the theme from Bobby Hebb’s “Sunny” with Grieves’ own rendition “Sunny Side Of Hell,” Budo decorates the melody with steady drums and trumpet licks that give it a live performance vibe. “No Matter What” establishes Budo’s range of style, where a blend of piano strikes, brooding drums and guitar struts sound similar to that of West Coast mainstay DJ Khalil. The synth melody for “On The Rocks” invokes an attitude that would make Ant proud as Grieves finds solace at the bottom of his glass cup.

While it’s not a glaring omission for artists that make genuinely good mood music (read: Kid Cudi), Grieves’ lyrical prowess on Together/Apart is void of any notable acclaim. This becomes evident on the aforementioned track “No Matter What” featuring Krukid and the Brother Ali-assisted “Tragic,” where Grieves takes a backseat to more seasoned emcees. In other instances, Grieves’ penchant for descriptive lyricism on tracks like “Vice Grip” and “Wild Thing” fall short of any engaging tales that haven’t been covered about drug abuse from the Seattle emcee.

Together/Apart is musical therapy for those who find themselves caught under the pressures of life. Rarely does Grieves discover answers to these problems; however, the fact that he’s able distinguish these personal tribulations in such a compelling manner is a special trait that rightfully puts him in the same breadth as label mates Slug and Brother Ali. Suffice to say, that’s surely nothing to be depressed about.

Directed by John Bollozos

Purchase Together Apart by Grieves


  • ryan

    Im still bumpin this to this day, its so friggen chill and you can really feel what hes saying. 5/5, its my favorite album from last year. Budo is incredible on the beats and grieves helps if your ever down. A must listen to anyone who enjoys hip hop

  • XtraPhat

    Eventhough Grieves does not discover nor reveal the secrets to handling the pressures of life, he does show us others... That we're not alone, that there are actually others who feel some of the same feelings, and that as in "The Sunny Side of Hell" there are actually positivity in the darkest places... In my opinion Grieves deserves a 9/10 purely because of his lyricism, and his abilty to make the listener feel what he feels and Budo a 10/10 I got NOTHING to say on the beats..!

  • Ben

    It was one of the best albums of last year. Rhymesayers always puts out good material.

  • Jon Klein

    One of the best albums out in the last year. Grieves and Budo are even better live than his albums!!!!! Grieves rules!!

  • Stu Withers

    This album gets a 5/5 from me. Refreshing, tight production from Budo, powerful lyrics from Grieves and enough variation in the songs to keep you wanting more! One of the best of 2011 so far, along with Sims and Blueprint's efforts

  • D

    HEY! for them young cats who love to fantasies about an older and very handsome guy with a strong big dick.who love to talk,kick it,webcam,whatever..get at me.well worth it... xhamstercom/user/mrproh

  • headhiphop

    This is a 4/5. its dope. of course he is newish and still can improve. but man, its been a while since i felt something REAL in hip hop music. here it is for 2011.

  • Corey Steir

    FIRE BEATZ FOR THE SUPER LOW!!! TAKE A QUICK LISTEN IM DEAD SERIOUS Any artist who leases a beat and records a fire track not only gets 1 FREE lease..i'll also upload the track to my soundclick page(FREE PROMO) also..send mp3's to!!

  • Nick

    Lyrical mastery and Budo amazing talent comes through the alblum.



  • NYkicks

    its coo.not my favorite Rhymesayer.toooo emo

  • buckeyewu

    This is a good album. Really surprised me.

  • Mike Meraz

    wow this album is dope as hell..I'm lovin the vibe, the blues, the originality..I can definitely feel that he was influenced by Slug and Atmosphere when I listen to it. Grieves is dope as hell. Love it when I discover artists I never heard of, and realize how dope they are and who are still about the "art" rather than the "money". Any other Grieves Albums I should check out?? Which one's his dopest?? Dx?? :)

    • Psyntax

      Only a few listens through but at this point I'm giving "Together/Apart" about a 9.5 out of 10... Possibly the best album I've heard this year (right next to Blueprint's "Adventures in Counter-Culture" and Blue Scholars "Cinemetropalis"). "88 Keys and Counting" I'd give about a 9. A ridiculously dope album that I doubted he would ever top... But I think he did with "Together/Apart". His debut, "Irreversible", is dope as fuck too. I'd give it an 8 or so but please don't sleep on it. Youtube the track "Scare Gardens" and that pretty much epitomizes his first album.

    • Willy

      Irreversible, and 88 Keys are his only two solo albums. If you really want to dive deep into his stuff look up Illegitimate Children. That's him and his friend "The MC Type". It's pretty good stuff. A bit different from his solo stuff.

  • Peanuttz

    Guys, this album is one of the doopest of 2011. How can you not see that?? The beats are dope, i hope Grieves does another one with Budo. "Wild Things" is my favourite at the moment. I gief it a 4.4 / 5.0 Real hip hop.

  • Anonymous

    really enjoyed the album, it's dope from beggining to end i give it a 4 out of 5

  • Lyricism

    I find it insulting that this album isn't rated at LEAST 4 stars by the editor. Look I'm all about lyrics. I love lines that make you think "wait what-OHHHH DAMN" but...the thing is Grieves' honesty and storytelling capabilities make up for lack of punchlines. This isn't battle rap we're talking here, which I'm also a huge fan of, this is music. A lot of rappers can make you dance. Good rappers can make you think. Great rappers can make you feel.

  • Filip Drobný

    5 out of 5

  • Damien Kearney

    firstly I always struggle to give something out of 5, I am getting into this CD at times the choruses drive me nuts. for Me it is a 3.3 but I think it will grow on me but not enough to be on high rotation

  • Matthew Swan

    This is my favorite album of the year thus far

  • daniel

    i havent heard a lotta grieves but ill have to check it out. been diggin the doomtree crew and rhymesayers too.

  • kale

    Honestly, I haven't really been feeling Grieves since Irreversible. 88 Keys and Counting was a huge dissapointment for me, as was The Confessions of Mr.Modest. Irreversible had classic tracks like "I Ate Your Soul", He Won't Answer", and the self-titled track "Irreversible". Even on 88 Keys and Counting, Luckyiam had the best verse("Identity Cards"). With Together/Apart, I was again dissapointed. It seems like Grieves and Budo have this belief that just because you use live instrumentation and sing melodically, you have a great song. Not true. Nothing on here was as catchy as "I Ate Your Soul". There were no deep story-telling tracks to rival "He Won't Answer". Nothing touched me like "Rebecca" did. I'd say the best track is "Vice Grip". It's a bit similar to "Bottom of the Bottle", but I really enjoy the brutal, self-deprecating honesty of the track. To be blunt, I hope Grieves works solo on his next project...and bring back the samples.

  • 954Gangsta

    Neva fuked with the nigga til this album, this shit incredible

  • Nomedication

    @Nomedication Glad to see this on here!!1 Grieves is dope!! He will be around for a long time. Honest music, this shit is wayyyyy better than dudes who always are talkin about money they dont have or former cops turing into king ping hustlers.

  • bmoc

    favorite shit of the year so far

  • zznv

    amazing music with a great lyric! even if some people said emo and stuff still a 5 for me

  • Jake Bourey

    I feel this is the 3rd best of the four works he's released so far

  • don

    i'm voting 1 star again cause this shit has too much estrogen

  • RSE

    After a few listens this is a 5. Grieves and Budo made an amazing album! RSE!

  • DJJ

    Very good music. Grieves is an amazing writer and this deserves a 4 if not 4.5. Great album with Budo as a very talented producer. RHYMESAYERS IS THE ONLY MOVEMENT IN Hip-Hop that I care to pay attention to. QUALITY MUSIC with a message. SOO DOPE!

  • mgf

    This is definitely a four+. Its not a perfect album but it is great from start to finish. They mix of hooks and verses is outstanding and Budo's multi-layered production is a perfect fit. And it isn't emo at all. The lyrical content is mature and thought out. If by emo you mean and not every song is about guns, cars, chains, and women then yes. Otherwise it is not emo. You just say emo because he is white. Its a race label. You don't say it if he was black. Will we ever be able to judge music for the music only?

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous


  • rideonemjixxer

    Grieves may be a bit drak,or "emo", but he brings a great sound, great lyrics, and real music courtesy of Budo. This is why I will always buy his albums cause everyone is amazing. 206!

  • Anonymous

    sites like this love whiteboy emo rap.

    • daniel

      at least he's tryin to do something different. so many emcees release the same shit over and over cuz it sells. fuck that shit! and also i think its a good thing when they have a live band when performing. anyone can mix some beats together but to make that music is much more respectable to me.

    • ssssssssssssss

      semi true.because Psycho Realm could sell out shows night after night in l.a...kings of l.a. underground with a wutang like fan base, but will never get mentioned on these sites.any white rapper has better odds.which is fine.since 97 underground jam packed clubs with mad l.a. hoes.but anyways, you got a point.

    • Anonymous

      Sites like these are white owned. What do you expect?

    • rideonemjixxer

      no,they like lyricsts. white boy hiphop? u sound bitter.people like you like to trhwo race into shit cause u cant accept that hiphop is for all races. would u rather its about the hood,guns,and gold grills? stfu man, open your mind a bit

  • Miles Talbott

    I would say overall irreversible is better, but still a really good album

  • jr

    Damn... I dismissed this album. But this review, video and comments have me wanting to check for this. Y'all think this is better than Grieves' previous projects?

    • Willy

      I have the album but haven't listened to it yet to really say whether it's better or not. But I have seen him live twice (I'm from Seattle, he does a lot of shows here). since him and Budo started work on this album and you can see a lot of postivie energy and pleasure from both Grieves, and Budo. That being said, however, Irreversible was an amazing album that will be very hard to top.

  • anthony floyd

    grieves has so much talent and a great live performance as well

  • Joe Morgan

    Musical therapy for the soul

  • Andrew

    Melodic poetry at its finest!

  • Samantha

    It's the perfect mix of 88 Keys & Irreversible! Their sound just flows like none other on this album! It's amazing.

  • Tyler

    Grieves does it again.

  • Nathan Kutz

    Great album! Awesome performance at meet and greet last night as well!

  • Bailey

    I've been trying to figure out what to say about Together/Apart but I am just so entranced by it I can't even find words to do it justice.

  • Eric B

    Very happy to have this album on vinyl, along with the digital download card, thanks RSE, Grieves and Budo are doing some real good stuff, keep it up.

  • Cody Montgomery

    Fantastic album, these guys just don't disappoint

  • Cprog

    Another stellar effort from grieves and budo

  • Anthony Lemos

    Great Album!

  • Josh

    Amazing, been listening to him for years and he keeps getting better. REP THAT NW HIP HOP!

  • Heather Jason Chalmers

    Grieves and Budo NEVER disappoint! GREAT album, fantastic Release Party!!!

  • Megan

    Yet another awesome throw down from Grieves and Budo. Their stage presence is incredibly captivating a must see. Mad props on this album, and to RSE for signing them!

  • Robert Lilz Zeigler

    This album is ridiculous, Grieves didn't disappoint at all.

  • Jake Chamow

    this albums straight fire #RhymeSayers

  • Amy Prindle

    you're absolutely amazing

  • Jamie Harrel

    HE is amazinggg!!

  • Michelle

    Incredible album

  • Beau Arrich

    It just keeps getting better with Grieves. Didn't hear him till he was on RSE, but his grooves, hooks and originality make this my favorite album of 2011. His stage presence is amazing, true show man. Oh yeah and he comes to Philly alot. Hip Hop heads have to feel this. Budos beats are up with RJ's and the live instuments add a great texture.

  • Leif R. Brostrom

    incredible new album - make sure to see them live if you get a chance!

  • Dave

    So an entire article about how dope the album was, then saying one line that he raps a song for his sister who is an addict, and it's "the same old Seattle story", gives it a 3.5? Tough crowd. Great album. Buy it. If you hate today's hip hop, you will love this album.

  • Detox-3011

    4.5/5 If you're into Rhymesayers stuff like Slug & Eyedea cop this

  • HoustonTX

    Dope album. This is the ish you put on and relate to. We all go through shit in life.