I didn’t think I was going to like Below Paradise. I haven’t given Tedashii a ton of time in the past but what I’ve heard I’ve been a little ho-hum on. Sure, I’ve grown into more of a fan of the “mainstream” hip-hop sound, but honestly, I didn’t really think Below Paradise was going to do anything for me.
But I’ve listened to Below Paradise start to finish a dozen times now. Just because it’s that enjoyable.
From time signature and tempo changes, to great hooks and catchy choruses, and hard hitting, introspective rhymes, Below Paradise is a super interesting take and twist on what hip-hip is. It might not be fresh and original, but it’s interesting. It’s a musical journey and as a listener you’re not sure what’s coming next. And I love that.
The album’s first two singles seem obvious, but both are great. Dark Days, Darker Nights, featuring pop powerhouse Britt Nicole, is a hard hitting, brutal assault, in all the right ways. Great guitar undertones far in the back of the mix that adds a nice layer to drums and Tedashii’s verses. Nicole’s hook is nice and creates a balance in the song. The second single, Nothing I Can’t Do, features Reach Records’ top two heavy hitters (Lecrae and Trip Lee). Lee’s hook is catchy and it makes sense why this was the first video for the album. If I were picking singles, Fire Away would be my choice for the album’s third single. It’s the most “pop” song on the record. A little more dance flair, with a super catchy hook and dramatic tempo changes that make it an interesting song that would stand out on the radio. It’s my favorite track on the album.
Angels and Demons is a great worshipful track. The strings on the hook that accompany the line “Holy Spirit come” is a beautiful dynamic change. Love Never Leaves is a perfect hip-hop ballad. Kam Parker’s vocals on Perfect jump out of the speakers. Catch Me If You Can has a little bit of dancehall influence. It’s another track the standouts because it’s interesting and intricate. It’s not a verse, hook, verse, hook, formula. The simple instrumentation in Chase add to Tim Halperin’s vocals and close out the record on an absolutely beautiful note.
Below Paradise has been on repeat nonstop for the last week. Catchy, interesting, great lyrics, intricate beats, and beautiful songs. It’s everything one could want from a hip-hop record. Well done!