K-os offers “Yes!”


Canadian artist k-os has just released his new album, Yes! on iTunes via his imprint Crown Loyalist Recordings. The CD version will be released on April 21 through Nettwerk/Universal. However, it seems that U.S. fans won’t get a chance to purchase the disc except on import; for now there are no plans to release it here.

Disappointed? Read the bio below and then get ready to pay an extra $10 for an import:

On Yes!, his 12 song deep fourth album, released in Canada on Nettwerk/Universal, the now Vancouver-based upstart has consolidated everything he’s done before, and chimed in where his head’s at now, like a more musically seasoned audio auteur would, despite his past successes. “As cliché as it may sound, this record really does take the best elements of my past work” he explains. “Strangely, three albums later, it feels like I’m starting new again, with a new label, manager, and agent. This album is a return to me picking up drum machines, guitars, keyboard and going for broke!” …

A superb danceable pop album in the classic sense, Yes! leaves behind much of the social commentaries present on his previous albums. Surefire stealth hit single “4321” utilizes the aesthetic template of hip-hop with a neck snapping break beat, but mashes up the other elements you’ve always heard on k-os tracks like “Superstarr Pt. Zero” with DJ cuts, a hooky chorus, upright bass blasts, and trickling piano plays. As its title slyly suggests, the song was intentionally recorded as a Bizarro rap response to his friend Feist’s Grammy nominated “1,2,3,4” hit (he’s done remix work for her on the Let It Die remix release on “Mushaboom”). As he explains: “I thought how interesting would it be to do a hip hop version of this song? It’s about the battle of the sexes, where I’m rapping “what are we fighting for?” Is this gender war going to happen forever? It’s me saying I hope not.”

K-os’ uniquely subversive hip hoppy twist on popular music and culture is not surprising considering that over the past decade, he’s regularly synthesized a stunningly progressive musical gumbo of hits. Having to his credit two certified platinum-selling albums (“Joyful Rebellion”, “Atlantis”) and one gold one (“Exit”), he’s also won multiple Juno Awards (2003, 2005), MMVA’s (Much Music Video Awards, 2004), Canadian Urban Music Awards (2003, 2004), a Source Award for Best International Hip Hop Artist (2003), and even garnered a Grammy nomination in 2005 for his collaboration with the Chemical Brothers on “Get Yourself High”.

As a musician who’s staked his reputation on playing the Angel’s Advocate, and provoking reaction like most good art should do (“I was the first Canadian hip hopper to smash guitars on the Juno’s”!), this other part of his legend has grown with each CD: he’s publicly beefed with music critics, pseudo punk rockers, Hip Hop the genre itself, and rising world music rap stars. And that’s just over the last 5 years. “Burning Bridges” is the penultimate must-hear response track aimed squarely at critics, haters, biters and fans who want to get inside the mind of this mad musical scientist. “I honestly don’t mind burning bridges because I’ll find my own way in the forest,” he explains. “You can’t be a genuine artist and be worrying about burning bridges, because then you’re just a product. Success shouldn’t make us all soft and coddled. There has to be somewhere to communicate subversive, candid feelings.”

Here’s the track listing:

  • 1. “Zambony”
  • 2. “Astronaut”
  • 3. “Burning Bridges”
  • 4. “Uptown Girl” (feat. Emily Haines from Metric & Murray Lightburn from the Dears)
  • 5. “I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman”
  • 6. “4 3 2 1”
  • 7. “Eye Know Something”
  • 8. “The Aviator”
  • 9. “FUN!”
  • 10. “Mr. Telephone Man”
  • 11. “Whip C.R.E.A.M.”
  • 12. “The Avenue”
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