After discovering Kap Kallous’ universe with two previous projects, The TV EP and The She EP, that sounded like appetisers to my ears, I was quite impatient to hear his debut album, I Should Have Kept My Mouth Shut. I may have been overwhelmed at the time of the release and I have to admit I didn’t give it the time it deserved. But as soon as I listened to it I knew the wait was worth it. Why I took so long to write about it will remain a mystery but I hope you (and Kap Kallous) won’t be too mad at me for keeping “my mouth shut” for so long.
As soon as you read the title and see the album cover, you know you’re in for some raw, lyrically violent and brutally honest content, which is one of Kap Kallous’ trademarks. This is clearly not for the faint of heart, easily shocked or under-aged people, so if that’s your case you may as well stop reading now. What you may not expect, though, is a very eclectic and genre-crossing project, where the MC delivers lyrics providing food for thought over varied and original instrumentals. Apart from Nothings Free, which chorus sounds way too mainstream and unoriginal to my ears, I was very pleasantly surprised by the musical direction of the album, all the more so as I was not predicting such openness and variety. Thumbs up to Kap Kallous, then, for going beyond expectations and not being afraid to express himself by broadening his artistic horizons. With influences and elements borrowed to rock, electro or even dubstep, there is something for every one and your ears will probably enjoy this journey into different sonic dimensions. Whether you are an appreciator of those genres or not, there is a way for you to indulge in them as they are blended with others and sound more universal in this context that they may have otherwise. Despite this variety, a constant remains, that is the heaviness of the drums which will keep your head nodding hard to the rhythm of the beat.
Lyrically, there is no surprise. Kap Kallous is true to himself and the irony of the title will not be missed. It is quite clear the MC didn’t intend on keeping that mouth shut and I am quite sure people are grateful for this (well, those who appreciate his music that is – I guess some may be offended). His previous projects proved that he didn’t really care about what people may think and made it a point to say exactly what was on his mind. What I got to appreciate with the EPs, I can find once more on the album. More diverse than the EPs, which were very conceptual, the album allows Kap Kallous to express his thoughts and feelings on different subjects, from his personal life, struggles and love for music to more universal ideas on society, conspiracy theories or simply ego-tripping. Other tracks like Where Did She Go or Portrait Of An American Family are yet another occasion for him to showcase his excellent story-telling skills as well as his cynical but accurate visions on life and love. There is also a cinematographic dimension on several of the tracks, which is something I could already appreciate with his previous projects. All in all, I would say I Should Have Kept My Mouth Shut is the addition of the themes of TV/cinema/society we could find in The TV EP and a bleak yet realistic take on love which was the central element of The She EP, with more general or personal tracks which all exude a great energy, sometimes bordering violence but always very cleverly expressed. This album sounds like an outlet for Kap Kallous and I guess many of us can relate to this need to let off some steam and anger, to simply express what we have inside and that needs to get out. I can’t but salute the MC’s courage to do so, as it is quite inspiring and salutary.
Now, to get an idea of what I talked about in the previous paragraphs, I will share two of the official videos for the album. First of all, the latest is the visual rendition for Hush, one of the most energetic and compelling tracks, which shouldn’t leave anyone unmoved. As stated in the disclaimer, this is for mature audiences ONLY. You’ve been warned…
Then, one of my favourite tracks and one of the most original ones is the mesmerising Like I Do, with beautiful vocals courtesy of S.K.I.P. I find the video very interesting and a great interpretation of the themes and lyrics of the song. Once again, not for the faint of heart.
If you like what you’ve heard, head to Kap Kallous’ Bandcamp to get the album, or simply click on the link below.