REVIEW: Tunsi – The Omen

The Omen

Artist: Tunsi

Album: The Omen

Label: Parana Records

Rating: 5.5 / 10

Reviewer: A to the L

Again with this spooky looking child on the cover! This one is even more disturbing than the “Behold A King” cover – this time we have nothing else to focus on but the cold, vacant stare of the doll. Couple that with the title, and THIS time I was anticipating a horrorcore album of sorts.

The first cut, ‘The Omen Intro’ actually reinforces this theory with is backing track consisting of a slow down sampled of the haunting classical piece from the flick of the same name. Throw in a few crows “caw-cawing” and the daunting and disturbing backdrop is complete. Just like last time though, Tunsi flips the script again – no horrorcore, no ghosts, no demons – just straight up scientific knowledge being kicked in the same manner that attracted me the previous album. Dope.

More dope tracks follow – ‘Captain’ with its catchy scratched hook, and fantastic stings sample, ‘Hard Rhymer’ which features a dark bassline and a hard snare where Tunsi’s “Rakim-ness” surfaces again in combination with a Chuck D and Kool G Rap driven chorus, and one of the album’s standout cut ‘Done Done It’ – a track that features Tunsi trading verse with his Skoolboard click over a straight up battle styled, old-school flavoured backing. Also worth checking for is the dope wordplay on ‘Take You Back’, where Tunsi reminisces on Hiphop days gone by, over a simple punchy track with a memorable female hook.

Unfortunately things aren’t as cohesive as the previous album. Part of the reason is the length of the album – at 25 tracks, it seems that a lot of filler seemed to sneak into the final lineup. Although cuts like ‘Hidden Signals’ and ‘Me And Sam’ offer some pretty intelligent looks at humanity losing its soul to technology on the former, and government corruption on the latter, the message is lost in some poorly produced and fairly uninspiring tracks. Another downer is the amount of pointless skits on here. There’s really no reason why they should appear – they add nothing to the tracks preceding or following them, and nothing to the overall album as a whole.

Overall, this ain’t as strong as “Behold A King”. It does have its bright moments, but ultimately these are overshadowed by the amount of weaker cuts on the album. If you’ve got a choice I’d pick up “BAK” first, before making a decision on this one. I’m definitely interested in how Tunsi comes back in the future though – there’s no doubt he has genuine talent, and it would be a shame not to hear more from him.

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