The Planets - The Opening      
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written by Saadiq    
In the spring of 2000 a little known group made their debut with the 'Circle of Light' EP that showed an immense amount of promise. 2 years and another 2 critically acclaimed EP's later they finally drop their long awaited solo.

The Planets comprise of Nomadic Poet 'aka The Traveller' and Ayman Raze and also features a founding member SonRise (no longer a part of the crew since the completion of the album) on 3 tracks. Anyways, enough with the introduction.

This album sees the introduction of two lyricists who play off each other wonderfully. Whether it's laying down their authority on a battle track like Set Flames (produced by Celph Titled) or Nomadic Poet whispering intimate raps on 'Food for Thought' effortless display finesse with the way they ride the beats and address their subject matter. Each MC has a unique style and voice, which beautifully compliment each other. Ayman displays perfectly the pain and frustration he feels at the plight of Sudan (his country of origin) on the track 'Food Thought', while Nomadic Poet urges his listeners to take heed in 'Open Your Mind'. Either way their tracks are very soulful.

The production is first rate on this album, with contributions from Amp Live (Zion I), Binary Star, Ant (Atmosphere) and some self produced gems too. Soulful offerings from each producer to say the least.

Other standout tracks include 'Solar' which has 12 MCs on the track! 'Medicine' ft Binary Star and 'Bop to This' show The Planets playful and laidback style.

The album clocks in at just 20 tracks yet it is very cohesive and the overall tracks proving to be 'The Opening' that The Planets promised at the intro of the album. The Planets show you that you can be an individual and not have to be pigeonholed. It's hard to pigeonhole The Planets. As I have stated before the album has such diverse offerings yet retains it' cohesiveness. You'll be hard pressed to find such a fine debut this year that is filled to the brim which such love, pain and soul.

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