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Top 100 Albums of the Decade: #42 Edan - Beauty and the Beat

 

Top 100 Albums of the Decade list will be posted over the course of 100 days. On September 23rd, we will post one album and continue every day until December 31st, when we will unveil our #1 album of the decade!

Please read our introduction to learn about our nominating and ordering process.

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#42 Edan - Beauty and The Beat

Edan's second album Beauty and The Beat creates a middle ground for both jaded hip-hop loyalists and its emerging descendents by relying on a tried-and-true technique for getting heads nodding and music geeks file-sharing: quality.

On one hand, the album sounds like sonic nostalgia using non sequitur videogame-esque interruptions like in "Polite Meeting" and sounds from our favorite noisemaking childhood toys like the muted wailings in "Funky Voltron." Yet at other times his songs betray a certain maturity, comfortably incorporating strained violins and a mournful flute melody as in the sentimental-sounding "Beauty" or strategically-placed samples from classic acts like Pink Floyd or The Dells in the space-age chill track "I See Colours."

Lyrically, Edan is solid. He uses personal narrative, humor and hubris to draw his listeners in, tossing out respected names here and there like Run DMC, Kool Mo Dee and Prince Paul to remind you that he is more than just a casual hip-hop fan. "Fumbling Over Words That Rhyme" employs the extra live, "mama-said-knock-you-out" vocal excitement of LL paired with a syrupy, compressed chorus and betrays the magic behind this album. Somehow it manages to be familiar by borrowing pieces of golden-era hip-hop's pomp and prose yet refreshing in its approach to production, construction and execution.

- Kristian Richards

Check back tomorrow for the next album! To see the full list of the Top 100 Albums of the Decade, click here.

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