Album Review – Will Brennan: 3 Act Play

Samples Before the Main Course

Throughout the early part of the summer, Florida-based MC Will Brennan has released a series of EP’s. Calling them all “3 Act Play,” Will Brennan would drop three or four tracks a piece with various subtitles: Young Man Blues, Laws of Motion, Lies, Love & Lust and Fear Form Function. The four EP’s have now been released together as one album singularly titled 3 Act Play. What we’re left with is twelve tracks of introspective songs, lush with jazz samples and spitfire lyrics. Will Brennan may have slowly dished out this album because we probably wouldn’t have been able to handle it all at once.

Make no mistake, just because you may have heard each section separately, it does not take away from the complete project. 3 Act Play works very well as a full album. While it does have sections that seem more incidentally similar, it could be a result of songs being crafted around the same time, but used for separate EP’s. “Straight Like That” and “Sex Sells” both explore the more sensual and sexual side of hip-hop, but focus on different elements of them. The former is more of the fantasy while the latter is the harsh reality.

3 Act Play is definitely a chill endeavor. Even when the BPM’s pick up a bit, Brennan’s flow is steady and cool. He rides the beat with minimal effort (or at least the appearance of minimal effort) which is key to accepting his delivery. There is nothing worse than being able to spot an MC’s trying to make it look and sound easy but doesn’t pull it off. The production is tight overall, while the early tracks lean a little heavy on jazz samples, they feel varied enough in tone and execution to forgive it. Will Brennan also tends to be redundant on the early tracks, with lyrics about it “being his time” or some variation of it encompassing much of the themes.

On “Beautiful Soldier,” there is a lengthy audio clip from the film “Fatal Attraction.” It sets the scene perfectly, for could be an ode to digging crazy chicks. A true highlight of 3 Act Play is the use of featured artist. Each one brings their gravitas and personality to the tracks they rap on. Given the original release structure, this could have easily turned into a compilation album. Since the features were used sparingly, they are definitely effective.

3 Act Play is a solid album, and comes right as the summer is starting to wind down and maybe the high energy of club rap isn’t what you need at the moment. Coming in at only forty-five minutes (and available for free) it’s almost a crime not to give it a shot. You’d be missing out on a strong indie outing from an artist who might find his way to sneak through the backdoor of mainstream hip-hop.

Originally published on- Inyourspeakers.com (08/12/2014)

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