A big wink from the man upstairs!
Some people like to rest on their laurels, like a certain ginger-haired frontman of a rock band who has been 'perfecting' his 'band's' new album for well over 10 years, and has quite frankly made himself an on going joke in the music industry, so it is therefore great to see the likes of Kai Motta, who puts the pro in prolific, as he comes out with another album of fresh tracks for our listening pleasure.
It's been an interesting time for the self-proclaimed High Priest Of Rap, who resides in Folkstone, having become a father to the beautiful Lola Kitty Motta, you may be forgiven into thinking that his royal God-lover may dilute his lyrics making them more radio-friendly to little ears, however thankfully this is not the case! He has, though of late, been at more of a musical crossroads which, 'England's Gone To The Dogs' shows in the way that it doesn't quite follow on as previous offerings, but instead jumps around as his style dips experimentally around with musical ideas.
Once again with this album, Kai sets the scene with the first song which showcases speeches over a backbeat telling us how out country is full of failed promises. This takes us into, 'The Not So Great Britain', set over a simple backbeat it shows Kai's strengths at mixing politics and humour, whilst poking fun at our strange country.
'How Many Roads?' is one of the strong songs here and is one of the first songs that show Kai's new direction breaking things down with more simplicity, with an acoustic guitar and a few samples here and there. We also have more of Kai's melody in his voice showing that along with the lyrical depth, he has a voice that is just as flexible as his vocabulary. The next song is, 'The Message Part 2' which is of course Kai's version of the classic song by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five from 1982, but with different lyrics.
There is a nice slow plod of a beat that has a heavy guitar riff-loop giving a tough background to the politically strong song, 'The Workingman Is The New Nigger'. This is catchy and hard hitting whilst again showing that Kai's music has matured to being more than just sexually amusing ditties. 'The Daily Fucking Grind' is a little disjointed and the vocals have a slight fuzzy feel to the recording, however things are a lot better in the acoustic 'Culture Shock', which is somewhere closest to showing where Kai is at the moment. It's another song that thrusts him out there, proving once again that he's not hiding behind samples and jokes. On contrast, 'I Wanna Be A Celebrity' has a fuzzy guitar riff, and electric beat and is Kai Motta at his piss-taking best, explaining the bizarre life that is that of celebrities, and especially those that have no talent or skill. It's a bit like classic Kid Rock when he had spiky hair and Mike E Clarke was influencing his sound.
Fan's of Kai, may be a little surprised at some of the songs, and no more so than the fantastic, 'What Is Real?' which sounds a little like Duenow, in it's simplistic and mellow sound, but that you can see the musical genius that has either been accidental and well thought out. This is my favourite of all of Kai's songs!
'England's Going To The Dogs' is another slight surprise as Kai sings it in a deep and raspy voice, giving the song a slow punk feel, adding more pounds to it's balls. 'Wild World' has Kai singing the chorus to Cat Steven's popular song whilst using musical samples and adding some clean and well produced rap verses. Yes, you can't escape the Eminem comparisons, and when you think we have gotten through most of the album without mentioning the superstar's name, it goes to show you just how far Kai has come in his growth. 'We Won't Be Knocked Down' is another good use of a sample with an upbeat verse and well sung chorus, and finishing with the obvious REM sample on 'Shiny Happy Chomsky' which has Avram Noam Chomsky lecturing for the song in his own way giving an example of why he has been considered controversial but a highly respected linguist/philosopher/political activist, and thus proves this is a satisfying album on many counts!
Upon first listening I thought it was somewhere between his last two offerings over the past 18 months, 'The High Priest Of Rap' and 'In The Age Of Entertainment', however once you get listening you have what is the markings of a great album, one that grows on you.
Kai Motta is a kaleidoscope of talent spurting out different things from books and writing, his political aspirations through music in his website www.kaimotta.com/political-music , his stand up comedy, and now after trying his hand at fronting a band, he is now looking to do acoustic gigs. Rumour has it that he is recording an acoustic album so we wait with bated breath! Once again another sermon is over and we don't have to wait until next Sunday to hear it again!