Hailing from Milwuakee, Wisconsin, of all places, We R The Lost is masterminded by Jon Briggz, and rounded out by Bili Ro$e, Damir Balo and Sir Castro.
The production on the album is stellar. The beats sound full and punchy and I can both feel and hear the sub-bass on the kick drum – an essential element of any self-respecting hip-hop tune. The beats themselves are solid and well-constructed, but judicious use of some bass guitar would have enhanced the grooves and elevated the songs to the next level.
Vocal delivery is clear, with some unique phrasing that gives the songs an edge. Vocal processing, while present, doesn’t sound too over the top. This really does justice to the vocals. In a landscape where excessive auto-tuning and effects are the order of the day, it’s refreshing to hear the detail and natural inflections of a real human voice come through.
The choice of soundscapes is what really sets this album apart. We R The Lost got really creative here, adding some great layers to the songs in often unexpected ways. On I’m Spotted, the album opener, the samples add a loungey feel which works surprisingly well with the otherwise uncompromisingly hip-hop vibe. Influence is almost trance-like, whilst Lost has some lovely electronic flourishes.
My only complaint with this album is that at times it lacks cohesiveness and feels more like a collection of songs rather than an album. The choice of placing Gold, a short spoken-word interlude, third, also left me somewhat bemused. It feels unnecessary and really interrupts the momentum created by the first two songs.
Overall, however, this is a really good effort with some standout tracks. We R The Lost may be lost, but their future looks pretty bright.