It’s the day after Thanksgiving and as the itis, (food induced drowsiness for those who don’t know) begins to wear off, there’s a particular calm that accompanies the chaotic mood that tends to take over the season. It’s that exact feeling that lead me to give the album Sound Shape Color by Universal Language a listen.
Still currently in the days of ignorance promoted and mumble rap being the expression, Universal Language’s album is the antithesis of it. Sonically pleasing and lyrically complex without being too verbose, their album “Sound Shape Color” possess’s a trackless that allows you as the listener to not only catch their vibe, but allows you to join in on riding the wave that they have created. With production that harkens back to the day of Digable Planets mixed with a sound that makes a group like Cunninlynguists stand out, Universal language has managed to merge the 2 while still taking it in their own direction without sounding like a knockoff.
While not for everyone, this 24 track album allows the listener to just sit back and get lost in their thoughts as the music itself triggers memories and allows space to get lost in deep thought. The second track of the project entitled “Rhyme of the Ancients” solidifies this as each artist goes in with stanzas that just give off energy while it preps the listeners mind for what’s to come. “Writing on Trains,” “Star Searching,” “Eyes Wide Open,” and “The Sweet Life” are personal standouts, but the whole album gives off a positive feeling as there doesn’t seem to be any filler tracks. Each song conveys a clear message as the truth they spit in their lyrics resonates with an uplifting frequency.
The one thing I’d like to focus on is the length, while most albums these days have a playtime that ranges between 35-55 minutes, Universal Languages’ Sound Shape Color runs uninterrupted for 1 hour and 45 minutes. While that may seem a bit long to most, as an avid listener to lyrics and music, the runtime tells me that this was a passion project that was well thought out. The extended time gives the listener more than just a mere glimpse into the artists vision, on the contrary, it allows one to really get in tune with the train of thought that inspired it all in the first place.
If you should happen to find yourself looking for an escape from the monotony of the holiday stress season, be sure to add Universal Language’s album to your playlist as the music itself can help center you as the craziness around you continues to unfold. Available now on Apple Music.