Originality85
Lyrical Content75
Longevity75
Overall Impact80
Reader Rating7 Votes95
79
Busty fuses various genres of music into one cohesive unit. Blending electro-soul, hip-hop, jazz and funk, their rhythmic sound and overall creativity exists in a class of their own

It’s been just over six years since the nine membered band Busty and the Bass met in their first week at McGill University’s jazz school in Montreal, Canada. Busty’s natural charisma has since propelled their success with three EPs, the latest being 2015’s ‘GLAM’, and performances across North America and Europe. Now with the release of their debut album ‘Uncommon Good,’ Busty brings a whole lot of substance with the right amount of style.

An interesting feat to accomplish, Busty fuses various genres of music into one cohesive unit. Blending electro-soul, hip-hop, jazz and funk, their rhythmic sound and overall creativity exists in a class of their own. With the aid of Grammy award winning producer/mixer Neal Pogue, Busty pulls inspiration anywhere from the soul of the 70s with the likes of Earth, Wind and Fire, to re-appropriating the sounds of the 90s and early 2000s hip-hop scene reminiscent of groups like Outkast. Its old school meets new school, amalgamating into an album that any listener can connect with on some level.

Opening with ‘Up Top,’ Busty establishes their sharp vocal harmonies, and a whole lot of funk in their instrumentals within the first few seconds. Especially with their use of a synthesizer that builds on layers of instrumentals, which helps make ‘Up Top’ a solid start to ‘Uncommon Good.’ However, ‘Up Top’ felt a slight redundant until the final minute of the song where it took a turn for the better. It’s far from being the strongest of the bunch, feeling a bit safe at times for a group that has so many weapons in their arsenal.

Thankfully, the successor to ‘Up Top,’ ‘Memories and Melodies,’ picks up the pace. The opening moments feel grandiose, building like a symphony to then all of a sudden drop a heavy, fun, groovy beat. What follows is a very dynamic composition powered by upbeat vocals, and a very rich quality in the sound production that carries throughout the album. Vocalist/rapper Alistair Blu marks his presence on this track, bringing his witty voice filled with hip-hop nostalgia. When juxtaposed against the instrumentals, there’s an additional layer of depth to Busty’s unique arrangements to create a very original sound.

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Where ‘Uncommon Good’ truly shines are with the tracks ‘Free Shoes’, ‘Bad Trip’ and ‘Dance With Someone!!!.’ There is a lot of character to each of the three songs, standing head over heels above the rest. ‘Free Shoes’ has an invigorating ambiance that credit must be given to Neal Pogue for honing in on Busty’s strengths. ‘Bad Trip’s’ lyrical content is some of the band’s best work while ‘Dance With Someone!!!’ is filled with high energy and movement. Busty does what they do best; experiment with different rhythms and arrangements while creating vibrant, flavorful melodies that heighten their vocal work.

That said, not all things are glitz and glamour with ‘Uncommon Good.’ Each track tells its own story; no one song is alike. This provides a lot of variety but the album as a whole felt jarring at times. This may be the result of the many genres of music that Busty fuses together. Some listeners may want more hip-hop centric tracks in the vein of ‘Free Shoes’ and ‘Bad Trip’, while others might want ‘Dead Poet,’ ‘Up Top,’ and ‘Closer’ which are more jazz-based.

One thing is for certain, ‘Uncommon Good’ best represents what Busty is known for but more refined. The catchy lyrics, powerful instrumentals and overall originality in the sound design make the album worth the listen on that alone. With only a few minor complaints, ‘Uncommon Good’ proves just how talented Busty is.

‘Uncommon Good’ is out September 8 via Indica Records.

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