Filled with more than a few slow, rainy day tracks over sleepy beats, the new disc, Helpless Dreamer, from Mello Music Group certainly is mellow. That said, while it’s geared more for lyrical purists than a party, the collection contains a few gems. But it’s got some flops as well.
Beginning with Stik Figa’s Oddisee-produced “From the Top”, this 13-song compilation has plenty of soul-searching, “I do it for the love/my fans” moments. Another example of this is Kenn Starr’s “Official”, which features sure-footed, confident rhymes over a subtle, almost subliminal drum beat.
Another track that grows on you is “This is it”, which features yU. This one aims to remind you why you fell in love with Hip-Hop to begin with – and it hits its mark. Elsewhere, Oddisee and Toine’s “Different Now” tells the tale of how true love can change one’s perception of importance over a bass-heavy beat and soul samples.
“Don’t Sleep” is the typical “don’t miss out on us” track we’ve all heard before. While the lyrics from Invincible and Finale are a step above average, there’s really nothing new here, save for some creative cutting. In the same vein of over-done song themes is “Black Rose”, which features Has Lo, a track about some crime involving mistaken identity or something that’s just too slow and boring to follow or finish.
The last track of note is Fresh Daily’s “For the Win”, a quick little piece with an uptempo beat and lyrics about the emcee’s champion status.
Overall, Helpless Dreamer is a suitable album with just a few missteps – kinda like a pair or warm wool socks with just a few small holes in them.