Album Review: Collective Efforts – Freezing World

Collective Efforts – Freezing World
1320 Recordings: 2010

When you hear about Collective Efforts in Hip-Hop, the obvious comes to mind; sure you have your Jaylib, DangerDOOM, and to more extremes, your Wu-Tang Clan, EPMD, etc.  But when you hear about Collective Efforts, the group that hails from Atlanta, Ga., consisting of three rapper-producers, one DJ, and a lush backing band, you end up getting an interesting result.  You get Freezing World, the fourth effort from this group.  Whereas the other efforts have largely proven to be your standard hip-hop affair (not that there’s anything wrong with that), this record serves as more of a mission statement with a more potent backing.

In the course of the record’s adventurous 60 minutes, you get lively bongos, deep and rich drums, and instrumentation that is groovy, yet soulful, but you get a curve ball.  In place of the happy lyrics that would usually be placed amongst such a backing, you get somewhat melancholy, introspective lyrics that are peering into the soul, heavily analytical of the world around their backing and not letting go of what appears to be a somewhat bittersweet struggle, filled with with tales of lessons learned from trials and tribulations.  You can hear it in the vocals of “So Cold,” with its mildly paced rhythm, and “Try Again” where Eli Sweet provides a soulful backing to the reflection that Collective Efforts drops.  However, you can also hear bouts of inspiration as well when you hear tracks like “This Far,” “Time To Grow” and the lead-off single, “I Get Down”.

In terms of lyrics, it is quite an introspective yet melancholy affair.  Trials and tribulations, as well as many bouts of ruminations surround Collective Efforts, and for the most part they are expressed very poignantly and honestly.  Their vocals are largely subdued for a majority of the tracks on the album, but they do know for the most part when to let something ride from the band, and when to let loose.  For example this is best utilized when it comes down to the raw elements such as “Winterlude” which serves as a nice break/precedence for when the record has reached its central point, or when the record reaches its somber ending in “See What You Find”, acoustic guitars wonderfully strummed and faded chants.  In the end, Freezing World ends up being several things to several people.  But it is definitely a work that reminds you of an ending workday in the dead of winter, sunset fading at about 4 or 5 p.m., and you put this record in, and just enjoy what the night has to offer.

★★★½☆
3.5 out of 5

9 thoughts on “Album Review: Collective Efforts – Freezing World

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  1. Cognautic|

    This is a definite contender for my favorite album of 2010, and may break my top 25 albums from the south.

  2. “I don’t usually write comments, but people that write angry ones are usually too talentless to actually make their own music,much less write their own takes on new music. That’s why they have time to express their negativity (i.e. a reflection of how crappy their lives are).

    Let haters hate, but don’t let them change who you are or what you think. Let them pleasure themselves with a glazed donut, mouthing Dilla…Dilla… ”

    lol at your subliminal player hating. If you got something to say to me, say it. CE aren’t your standard run-of-the-mill Hip-Hop band, and if you or the reviewer feel that way, then you obviously haven’t given them the time of day. This is one of the best albums of the year, easily better than the Dillon/Paten Locke project which scored a 4/5 from this site…

  3. Good to see yall reach back for an album that deserves some props. This is one of the better joints released from Atlanta this year and it’s to be expected. CE always put time into their projects and I can’t say that I like any one of them more than the others. They all have memorable moments with me, big up to the crew!

  4. D.L. Chandler|

    Never, ever change your mind about your reviews. You write what you feel. It’s funny you got this review as I was going to pitch the guys this one as well.

    They’re seriously dope too and I can’t wait to hear more.

  5. “Bickering over music with words” is a pretty apt description of the entire industry circa 2010, I dig it.

  6. Stand up for your reviews. This is a great blog. I don’t usually write comments, but people that write angry ones are usually too talentless to actually make their own music, much less write their own takes on new music. That’s why they have time to express their negativity (i.e. a reflection of how crappy their lives are).

    Let haters hate, but don’t let them change who you are or what you think. Let them pleasure themselves with a glazed donut, mouthing Dilla…Dilla…

    Don’t correct me if I’m wrong (I’m not following up on this), but this music sounds like they bit Jazzanova pretty hard. Nothing mind-blowing in terms of lyrics, instrumentation, or message. It’s groovy and listenable, whooptie doo.

    I come here for inspiration, but I can take or leave music reviews. Evaluating (and bickering over) music with words seems to do it a disservice.

    Thanks for posting the stuff you post.

    Dave

  7. This is one of the best albums of the year imo.

  8. “(not that there’s anything wrong with that)”

    Maybe “standard” was the wrong word choice on my part, but I dug the last three efforts. Just that my ear enjoyed “Freezing World” a little more.

  9. “Whereas the other efforts have largely proven to be your standard hip-hop affair”

    Bullshit. The other albums were huge achievements not only for the CE, but for all Hip-Hop. Don’t downplay them like that, fuck.

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