Trip Hop extraordinaire Pretty Lights just came out with a new single called Around The Block and, after more than a few listens, I’m going to make a rather grand assertion and say that it is one of his best songs yet. While the instrumentals are classic Pretty Lights (the song definitely doesn’t stray from his signature style), it really gets a boost from some fresh original lyrics from Talib Kweli. The MC transports the song further into the realm of hip-hop than a lot of other Pretty Lights songs. Don’t worry, there are still a lot of EDM qualities to the song, but Kweli’s part definitely makes Around The Block harder to pin down genre-wise.
Now, as far as the music video goes, I really like the concept behind it, but it did get hard to watch at times. The video takes you on a virtual tour of an urban neighborhood as well as inside the Pretty Lights recording studio. I want to like this video, but the rapid transitions, spastic angle changes, and overall frames per minute gave me some serious motion sickness.
I’m not exactly rushing to watch the video again, but I’ll gladly spend the next two and a half months listening to Around The Block as I wait (impatiently) for A Color Map of the Sun to come out. The first full-length album to come from Pretty Lights in over two years, A Color Map of the Sun promises to be equal parts hip-hop and electronica, according to Derek Vincent Smith (the man behind Pretty Lights). He plans to release the album for free on his website come July 2, 2013, but Smith is also releasing a special two-disc CD via iTunes as well as a special vinyl press of the album.