B. Dolan: Fallen House, Sunken City

B. Dolan: Fallen House, Sunken City
Providence, Rhode Island-based B. Dolan is a bit of a jack-of-all-trades. His bio notes him as an activist, performance artist, slam poet and emcee. He runs Knowmore.org and has been featured on HBO’s Def Poetry. His latest album, Fallen House, Sunken City is his second official full length studio release.
There is a lot of hints as to B. Dolan’s sound just in his bio. A rapper/slam poet from Providence, RI makes me think that he probably sounds like fellow Providence rapper/poet Sage Francis. On that front, I was right. B. Dolan’s style is somewhere between Sage Francis and Buck 65. His voice reminds me of Buck 65; it’s low and a little bit gruff but sometimes it gets more excited than I generally think of Buck as getting.
Lyrically, B. Dolan founded an activist website; it doesn’t take a detective to figure out what his lyrics are going to be about. The album starts off with news snippets reporting on the September 11th attacks, but clearly the economy is what is on B. Dolan’s mind. Tracks like “Fifty Ways to Bleed Your Customer”, “Economy of Words (Bail it Out)”, and “The Reptilian Agenda” make Dolan’s problem with today’s politics pretty apparent.
Although I enjoy sociopolitical hip hop as much as the next guy, my problem is always how abrasive it feels. I know the popular adage is “if you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention”, but it is so hard to be consistently as angry as rappers like B. Dolan seems. To top it off, B. Dolan’s voice is just naturally grating which makes an entire album of him hard to listen to.
In the end, I appreciate what B. Dolan has to say. He makes excellent points and is clearly highly educated on current affairs, but I just find an entire album too much for my tastes.
Rating: 5.8/10
MP3: B. Dolan “Fifty Ways to Bleed Your Customers”
Buy: iTunes