L’Orange: The Orchid Days [Album Review]

the-orchid-days

L’Orange‘s album covers are stark. Obviously the color orange plays a large role, but the contrast in the predominantly black and white vintage images sum up the producer’s style: vintage jazz sounds with a splash of Hip Hop.

Jazz is a genre that often doesn’t utilize words to garner an emotional connection. Similarly, L’Orange in an interview with Everydejavu.com said he started producing because his, “words had ended but [he] still had more to say.”

His new album, The Orchid Days, conjures a quote from Jon Hamm’s anti-hero Don Draper from Mad Men fame. “Technology is a glittering lure. But there is the rare occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash if they have a sentimental bond with the product,” he said in perhaps one of the most power television scenes in recent memory.

Orchid Days pushes past the glitz and glam of Hip Hop with all of its fancy technology and new age DJs. Now don’t get me wrong; producers such as Young Chop, who can produce a banger in minutes, and Diplo, who can make almost anything into gold, should have a place in Hip Hop. But producers like L’Orange create music that makes you feel like you’ve returned to a warm home on a rainy night. It’s dark, cold and wet. But once you get inside, you can relax in front of a roaring fire with a glass of whiskey to warm the innards.

The product is still dark, but still has a warm nostalgic glow around the edges. “Like Nothing and Nobody” is the prime example. The track starts off with a woman, probably from film noir or an old-timey radio show, saying “I’m not frightened anymore.”

The track continues with a chopped-up crooner overtop a piano. And the album carries on in this way. Radio and jazz samples are interspersed with welcome cameos from Blu, Homeboy Sandman, Erica Lane, Jeremiah Jae and Billy Woods.

The song sequence, which on producer albums is often neglected, seems organic. If L’Orange put in large amounts of efforts to make the album flow, he hides it well, like a world-class center fielder tracking down a screamer into the gap without breaking stride. It seems almost too easy.

With that said, the album does become stagnant at times. Nineteen tracks for a predominately instrumental album seems like it is loitering.

But the tracks are just that. These aren’t beats. Beats are what producers make in the dozens and spam Youtube with. These are instrumentals that produce more than head-nodding. They are stories. This is the brilliance of The Orchid Days.

L’Orange: The Orchid Days [Album Review]

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L’Orange’s album covers are stark. Obviously the color orange plays a large role, but the contrast in the predominantly black and white vintage images sum up the producer’s style: vintage jazz sounds with a splash of Hip Hop. Jazz is a genre that often doesn’t utilize words to garner an emotional connection. Similarly, L’Orange in …

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Source: Kevin Nottingham

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