Upon first listen, Skarm sounds like he is in a recurring nightmare. The stories are vivid, personal and keep him restless. Staying at midtempo with a sprinkle of gloomy piano keys on the side, The Pharm‘s CEO and founder is back with his follow-up to last year’s In Troubled Waters. Odyssey to the Sun, his third full-length LP, is a combination of bass-heavy, carefully crafted beats and lyrical deliveries that echo the confidence of an emcee that’s been in the business for years.
Finding highlights for balanced albums such as Odyssey … can be a little tricky since the whole album is more fulfilling than the sum of its parts. The ones that really warrant multiple listens for its clever wordplay and storytelling are “Aviator Traits” and “The Other Side”. It would be a mistake to sleep on the rest of the tracks, though.
Skarm may still be swimming in troubled waters, but this hasn’t stunted his growth both as a producer and emcee. There’s a lot to like in this album, and all 12 tracks breeze by so fast it leaves us wanting to hear a bit more. The production is layered with samples both simple and sparse, a good thing as the beats don’t overwhelm his narratives. Odyssey to the Sun, like its predecessors, is an album to listen and nod your head to. Pick this one up when you can.
“Subconscious Shades” (Live @ Subflex, November 2)
(Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of Odyssey to the Sun/Introubled Waters/Lazy Boy Blues. Delivers anywhere nationwide.)