Together/Apart is Grieves' (with the help of Budo on production) first release under the Rhymesayers label. For those that have never heard of the 26yr old Seattle MC, he's one hell of a rapper. You're unlikely to hear more evocative imagery come out the mouth of anyone in the genre. Stylistically i feel Grieves is best compared to fellow Rhymesayers counterparts Dessa (of Doomtree) and Brother Ali. As Brother Ali is fairly well known i'll continue the comparison; both MC's put a large emphasis on introspective and reflective content (Grieves more-so even than Brother Ali), both have distinct and strong deliveries, great flows and the ability to both sing (well, i might add) and incorporate melodies and tempo changes effortlessly into their bar structure.Where Grieves differs is how his self-analytical musings are framed, his content is not delivered conventionally and instead he has a penchant for more abstract writing and imagery packed metaphors.
Swallow that lump inside of your throatAs you can see, the writing is complex and at times cryptic but Grieves' delivery and tone is both immediate and relatable and Budo's production (for the most part) complements his lyrics and helps translate into sound whatever mood's being explored. Their are some outstanding pieces of production; Budo's beats are never stagnant, always changing and progressing and his instrumental piece, 'Speak Easy', is one of the albums highlights.
Open up the closet and push aside all the clothes
You believe, and never needed more to be said
To leave you scared of that little gap between the floor and your bed
So you jump, leaping over all over your options
And retreat right back to that bed we call a coffin
To sleep, never actually getting a wink
Due to all the little devils that dance around in your dreams
And attack you, pull you under the bed with their hands
And take away the chance of you ever making a stand
And if anything actually ever went as you planned
That you could retrace the steps you ran
But only if it hits, if it speaks
You could fight it to the death in the streets
You'll grip those sheets in attempt to hide
And figure out that you've been running from the feeling of never leaving alive
Together/Apart is 16 tracks long and without any filler in sight. To be fair, there are a few choruses and a beat or two that i'm not a great fan of but i'm yet to hit the skip button on one of my listens.
Highlights: Falling From You, Boogie Man, Against The Bottom, Lightspeed
Lowlights: Bloody Poetry (great lyricism but the beat and chorus let it down)