‘The Picture of Dorian Sage’ (produced by GGpeney using a akai Mpc 4000), drops on 01 September 2018, 9 tracks by promising UK Hip Hop artist Karl Sage. The album consists of nine tracks of conscious Hip Hop, calm and reflective makes you think on a deeper level contemplating on the mysteries of life. The intro track ‘Dorian Grey’ has a flow so smooth it’s almost like the track was laid down in one breath, it encapsulates the heart and soul of this album. Throughout this album various themes are explored which can also be found in the novel by Oscar wilde, ‘The Picture of Dorian Grey’ from which the album name is inspired. It’s refreshing to find a reference to classic literature in modern day music. The general concept of feeling immortal, living life without consequences for your actions in order to be your ‘true self’. A reflection materialized by the generation of today, living through social media with little regard for the after effects of indulging in vices on their physical and mental health. How shallow society has become, and the empty voids are not filled with hedonistic pleasures.
The album is scattered with skits from the ‘Picture of Dorian Grey’ movie which gives it a cinematic feel. Cigarettes and Gin is one of my favorite tracks on the album, the instrumental is somewhat eerie which suits what feels like reflections in the early hours of the morning, exploring what built our nation, ‘cracks in the city where the soulless roam, like motion drones’ is such a powerful line.
We all have aspirations, ‘Fountain of Youth’ explores this with lines like, ‘everywhere you look there is someone selling dreams’ and the price people pay to follow their own dreams, sacrifices which must be made. Hard work will always pay off and you have to deal with the jealousy and envy.
We are living in a time where everyone one has become complacent, what would happen if we erased all the root of evil and started again? This is what the track, ‘Blank Canvas’ is all about, a powerful thought. I liked the wordplay on mixing colors (races) on the palette linking the concept of ending racism to the track title.
A very chilled track ‘Free Your Mind’ urges us to think outside of the box and that to ‘opulence in life comes with a price’ which we all know is true, it addresses Capitalism sand consumer culture, that we should really just take a second to kick back and enjoy the simple things in life such as women wearing no makeup.
I was completely lost in, ‘City Overtones’, feat Melanin 9, the hook line of ‘where the motion drones’ The enjoyed the world play and the instrumental perfectly fit the sentiments in the lyrics. Trying to make the most out of your situation, I really did feel like I was floating through ruins of ancient civilizations as the topics discussed on this track are repeated through generations.
A more grounded track, ‘Bad Girl’ based on a true story, explores relationships, issues of trust and unfaithfulness and the complex emotions which come with it.
‘Ecstasy’ is an exploration of indulging in mind altering substances another means of escape from reality, and this track certainly is trippy and paints a vivid imagine of human connection.
The album is a collection of intellectual thought-provoking lyrics, addressing the truths of life looking behind the smoke and mirrors, of society unfair expectations and our path to self-discovery and happiness. A very articulate account of how life can be bittersweet, an album well worth listening too.
The new album is available on all music streaming platforms.