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Monday, February 15, 2010

B. Dolan: Fallen House, Sunken City

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There's hardly a more painful way to spend an evening than a slam poetry performance. Something about the art form encourages hysterical, ill-considered prescriptions for societal remedies. Rhode Island rapper B. Dolan is a former slam poet and anti-corporate crusader known for his criticisms of American Apparel. Though his music is likewise concerned with social activism, it's appealing even to those who don't share his political views, simply because Dolan is a compelling rapper who takes great care in his craft. His latest release on Sage Francis' Strange Famous Records, Fallen House, Sunken City, is a blitzkrieg of boom-bap raps, rock beats and experimental structures. It holds together beautifully, thanks to the production of Anticon-affiliated beatmaker Alias. Sure, you can expect rants on tracks with such titles as "Fifty Ways to Bleed Your Customer," but when the music is this solid you'd be wise not to complain. (Strange Famous Records) 4 out of 5 stars.

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