by Susan Shelton
Open Mike Eagle and Serengeti recently got together for the sharp and down-to-earth Time & Materials. The album is simple and expressive, light and introspective, and presented in a clean and honest way that makes every second enjoyable. If other new hip-hop is a photocopy of a photocopy, Time & Materials is a clean acrylic painting on hand-stretched canvas.
In typical fashion, Open Mike Eagle smears the issues of daily life over rhythmic dance beats in an incredibly organic way. Similar to his previous album Dark Comedy, this album takes a few authentic turns towards emotionally jarring. Time & Materials is the first album fully produced by Open Mike Eagle, whose lyrics are intelligent and sharp. It’s fortunate that Serengeti so closely mirrors Open Mike Eagle’s values of ethereal distribution of thought.
Serengeti has been doing a lot of collaborations in recent months. After his recent collaboration with Anders Holm to create the satirical 90s group Perfecto, Time & Materials is a more serious note that mostly reinforces the range that Serengeti has and, if nothing else, proves that he’s a good match with the light-hearted capabilities of Open Mike Eagle.
Cavanaugh’s Time & Materials is available now.