Before I actually start reviewing, let’s get something straight. Inverse are one of the most criminally underrated acts in recent years. Last year’s So Far (The Collection) was one of the top 5 releases of 2008 (which was all around a pretty good year for hip-hop), and on top of that, it’s free (seriously, check their MySpace). This EP is also free. You can’t help but love an act that gives away their music. Especially when they’re this good.
Inverse are Tunji and Toby. They are laid back, introspective, honest and very, very talented. But enough of that, let’s get to what really matters: the music.
So True opens with the absolutely lovely Rise and Shine. Piano, guitar, violin. It makes you want to go out and do something, although I’m not quite sure what. Just something. This is the kind of thing that Inverse seem to do best. Fresh, uplifting music, enough to make even the most cynical, jaded, ‘heard it all before’ hip-hop fan sit up, listen, smile and maybe even get up and do a little jig.
A similarly sunny affair is the aptly-named Sunnycalifornia 2 (part one of which featured on So Far (The Collection)). Something worth mentioning about Inverse, is that while the music often sounds very bright, the lyrics explore something darker (Sunnycalifornia 2, for example, one second talking literally about sunny California, then touching on the dark side of it, before reverting back). It’s good to hear something like this, as things like this are all too scarce in the mainstream (as are a lot of things essential for the production of good music, such as talent and creativity).
Spark My Soul is yet another standout track. In all honesty, the beginning of this paragraph could be replaced with any song title from this whole EP. Not wanting to sound like some completely biased elitist that listens to underground acts in the hope of gaining some shred of credibility amongst her similarly elitist friends, but I rarely get this excited about seeing what the future holds for artists. If any group/duo/act/whatever you want to call them deserves success, it’s Inverse. I look forward to the day that I turn on the TV and see these two men, and not Lil’ Wayne or some other madly over-hyped, mediocre-at-best artist. The world needs to hear this music.