Although I do like hip-hop, I find it difficult to review as I tend to focus on the same aspects and I think my knowledge isn’t strong enough to write about it and it takes ages for the album to click. Anyways, here goes….
No Mountains in Manhattan echoes a lot of things that I like in a hip hop album; basically big beats, a lot of samples, and creative rhyming. In other words there’s roots in the golden age of hip hop era and Wiki does have an old skool feel to the 18 tracks on this album. There’s also some new touches as well. Made for this and Pandora’s Box have a bit of a club vibe but Wiki is at his best when he’s in soulful party mode , which one can hear on Mayor.
There’s also a small but impressive roster of guests: Ghostface Killah , Ukranian rapper Your Old Droog, Antwon Earl Sweatshirt and Lakutis, not to mention a handful of producers helmed this album: two major names being XXXChange and Kaytranada . There’s a lot going for this record and it does pay off.
Rather than being a fun album No Mountains is admirable for its eclectic nature: there are jazz numbers, Klezmer music, big beat, soul and some gritty beats. It’s an interesting listen that may seem heady at first but once things settle this album yields a lot of new discoveries.
What else can I say? I would not recommend this for someone who is new to the genre due to the length and scope of the record but if you’ve worn out your Madlib/Quasimoto albums then Mountains in Manhattan is great.