Album review: 'Glamour,' by Fresh Espresso

Patrick Varine

Seattle-based Fresh Espresso deliver a caffeine jolt of pop-influenced hip-hop with "Glamour," blending non-traditional beats with a flair for lush atmospherics.

While the album's title definitely refers to the glossy sheen coating many of the tracks, P Smoov and Rik Rude can get grimy as well, whether they're upping the tempo ("Girls and Fast Cars"), making things choppy (the horn-powered "Diamond Pistols") or slowing it down with guest MC Mr. Lif ("Coffee Talk").

The pair have an excellent ear for incorporating just the right type of synthesizers, bells and whistles to give "Glamour" a Kanye-esque feel, but with more fun and less pretentiousness.

Tracks like "Show Me How You Do" and the excellent "Lazerbeams" showcase Fresh Espresso at their best, blending pop, hip-hop and the perfect amount of experimentation.

"Glamour" is the sound of an exciting new voice in West Coast hip-hop.

Hear samples at Amazon.com.

Sussex Countian