Album: The Good Fight
Oddisee has had a strange career. Active since 1999 yet only prominent since 2010, the Maryland native is now 35, and still exists on the boundary between underground and mainstream. With his 8th studio album Odd Cure released a few weeks ago with 5 of the 11 tracks listed as skits (!), it's safe to say that he still doesn't care too much for public approval.
His problem has always been consistency, but when he gets it right, he really does. "Counter-Clockwise" from his 4th album The Good Fight showcases Oddisee at his most creative. Self-produced, the beat features layers of breathy samples in 5/4 time signature, the pulse only made clear by the bass line that comes in around the 10-second mark. The beat is consistently disorientating and hard to follow, and Oddisee's bitter lyrics seemingly directed at a former lover act as the perfect foil. The consistent theme is one of unevenness, of people moving in opposite directions that Oddisee projects in his grating vocals. Whilst the first verse is full of pauses that make it easier to locate the downbeat, each verse that follows is busier, creating a feeling of urgency that lasts throughout.
It is only at the end of the third verse that Oddisee's flow fully compliments the beat, as the last syllable of each of his fragmented phrases lands precisely on the downbeat. These final few words are Oddisee at his most conciliatory, his previously angry tone traded for forgiveness. His closing statement 'If fire's all you have, then water meets your match' shows their irreconcilable differences, but with a different sentiment attached. They no longer clash, they will no longer collide. They will turn around different axes, in different directions. Foreverrrrr.