Published on February 12th, 2014 | by Boman12l0
FowL: Surprise [Review]
On the site, many of you know that we have been following Detroit’s FowL for a while now. His Surprise mixtape dropped way back in November. My original review for the project got lost. Some might be wondering “how does a review get lost?” Hey chill – things happen – drafts don’t get saved, connections get lost, Boman says “Fxck it.” Now while clearing out my inbox, it was brought back to my attention. But here me out, I do think it’s a solid projects and some words do need to be said about it. Review take deux.
When first listening to FowL’s Surprise, I didn’t know if I was going to get more instantly catchy street anthems like “Young and Restless” or tracks designed for more crossover appeal a la “Show Business.” Thankful, Surprise contains less of the latter and is a nice little listen. Yes, a surprise indeed. The ten track project is a good mix of street singles and autobiographical tales. Fowl might not be the most technically gifted rapper, but his delivery is solid and the straight forwardness of his raps creates an intimacy between the Detroit native and listeners.
Early in the running, on “Sunday Night” Fowl gives a first hand account of many of his vices over a pulsing guitar loop. The atmosphere soon lightens as Fowl boast “If I ain’t shit to y’all, I’m still the man to my hoes” on the swinging “Swaggin’ Out”. Much of the album is filled with statements of personal ambition,”Timeless Life” or “Much More”, details of his life, “Whole Different Thing”, or his relationships,”That Don’t Work”. Nothing revolutionary, but Fowl’s voice and production combine for a good listening experience.
Production is handled by frequent collaborator Clockwork Muzik, who gives Fowl a great mix of live instruments, heavy synths and some samples to work with. It all comes together nicely and creates a distinct backdrop for Fowl’s brash delivery. “Trippin on Everything” has an old school pre-trap era south feel, if only a little more electronic in its production. “That Don’t Work ” is built around a drum kick that seems to linger, matching the somberness of the track, as a trumpet leads the chorus. Surprise does not sound like it is coming from Detroit, but the mix of styles sets Fowl apart from some of his peer in the city.
The top of the year is often a slow time new music releases and a good time to catch up on a few things. Surprise is a solid release and there are few tracks on there that could easily go into heavy rotation from the project.