Saturday, July 26, 2014

LISTEN LOCAL: Jay Tablet, West Ghostin

Posted By on Sat, Jul 26, 2014 at 8:33 AM

Bendite Jay Tablet’s latest hip hop album, West Ghostin, comes to the party wearing a tuxedo with tails and high top sneakers; it’s as urban as it is urbane.

Tablet turns in his best record to date trading on the strength of slow churning beats that swell and roll like the Bering Sea. Bass breaks against sharp, punchy synth and Tablet—aided by friends like Rory Onders and Keegan Smith— drops plush, snappy raps that draw from the refined sound of Oakland-via-London rapper Charlie Tate and his hip hop collective Colossus as well guttural grinds of artists like Schoolboy Q. The result is an album ready to background a sweaty house soiree.

Tablet wastes no time cashing in on its carousing cache either. The album’s second track “To the Zone” catches Tablet getting a little randy as he paints the picture of a simmering, close encounter in the middle of a summery dance floor that leads to a purring kitty cat and twerking for cash. And despite the crass implications of those lyrics, never once does the song sound like anything but a high-class tune, smooth to the end; it’s only problem being that it clocks in at a disappointing minute forty four.

Tablet keeps the party going with the slow grooves “Feeling Good” featuring Chandler P and Tablet’s former Cloaked Characters cohort and record producer Rory Onders as well as “Note to Self.” Both conjure up images of living rooms stuffed with college students illuminated by floor lamps sporting the requisite, weekend-only, black lights.

West Ghostin is punctuated by the song “All I” featuring Portland’s Keegan Smith. Washed in a catchy reggae chorus and guitar, the track is the album’s lone departure from hip hop standards and one that finds Tablet stretching his flow to cover a song that splurges in top 40 sensibilities; completing the record’s ambition to be a dope party album.

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