Toronto’s own lion, Exco Levi comes through with a blazing effort in the form of “Country Man”. With its “easy roots” feel, this album should have no problem reaching a greater audience. In fact, the stand out single “Storms of Life” (the one where, in its music video, Exco can be seen cruising around Hamburg on a bicycle) had already generated hype when released in 2012. The overall vibe places you under the sun and makes you feel alright while maintaining a tone pushing for a simpler life, away from the trials and tribulations of the city.
As one could expect from the title, this dichotomy is a prominent theme throughout the track list. Tunes like “Yutes Dem So Violent”, “Life In The Factory” and “City Life” depict the hardships of urban living whereas others, including “One Room Shack”, “One Suit”, and the title-track “Country Man”, allude to the favored countryside.
You should also look out for some heavy collaborations in this piece, such as Romain Virgo’s assist in stressing the importance of youths’ education in “Get It In Your Head”. In “El Shaddai”, Exco and Jahmali revisit the latter’s break-out song from 1998, while Black Uhuru’s “General Penitentiary” gets redone alongside the mighty Michael Rose.
So pick this one up as soon as you can! Before it fetches this man another Juno!
Review by Felix Yuan