This year has been a rollercoaster of dystopian proportions. Politics has been bizarre, individual safety and survival have become common topics for the majority of the population, everything is on the brink of something worrisome and something wonderful. Our culture feels like it could go into an even darker place, where businesses dry up, music exists in a recessed place or we could have a renaissance of art, culture, compassion and an evolved approach to all of the above.
This album titled "All The Things You Miss" by Vagabond Mafia is their 3rd offering and the evolution from project to project is always something to behold. The first track on the album titled "Chemical" has its own cinematic offering that is literally a movie (watch below). The hours and craft behind this album and its organization is inspiring, the way it is presented and how the album's narrative and cohesive vibe are solidly exhibited. The track really showcases that the group has a range of musical ability. The beat is infectious and the haunting melodic vocals create such an environment and lend to the mood/vibe/narrative. The verses are strong and blend into the track perfectly and everything together creates this machine like an operatic orchestra.
The group is not hip-hop and yet even more so than so many other artists simultaneously. They exist in a liminal space that is more art than music defined by genre and sub-genre. This type of project exists when highly talented artists are given the tools to create and the production on is tailor made to each specific creator and voice featured on the album. The ability for a producer to perfectly sync with an artist is a product of time, chemistry and shared vision. They have all of the above and demonstrate all of that masterfully!
The members of Vagabond Mafia use the power of the voice and vocal effects to allow each member to collaborate on the track and set their personality and energy apart from their counterpart. This creates a conversation, a dialogue, a varied cacophonous listening experience that provides for serious replay value. the production is textured and detailed. The music and the way each voice is featured demands additional listens to really digest the content that is provided.
All The Things You Miss feels like something personal written in response to this wild world, deeply real human emotions that people can all relate to, the energy from start to finish feels like its an indictment of everything that is wrong and what can go right. It feels personal because it speaks to me, and even the ending verse of the track TV Funeral states "Life, now that should be romanticized", this left an impression. The album just ends with so much profound human experience coupled with a soundscape that really draws you into each conversation that each voice develops, and the parting thought is that life is short, varied and the experiences we have while living are holy and that is what should be held in high esteem. This album feels like honesty, and hope, an answer for the year 2020. Listen to it and leave your thoughts in the comments.