Lyrics Born

Everywhere at Once (Anti-)

The third album by Lyrics Born (half-Japanese rapper Tom Shimura) couldn't have a more fitting title, considering the mercurial nature of the music. Lyrics Born launched his career alongside DJ Shadow, eventually co-founding the hipster-approved SoleSides and Quannum labels. Everywhere at Once could be his breakout disc, but instead of playing it safe, he stretches his sound and style to their breaking point. A connoisseur of pop music, but not its inherent cheese, Lyrics Born spits words in tones that reach the deepest notes as well as some surprisingly high ones. The results are both soulfully introspective ("Is It the Skin I'm In?") and wildly eclectic (the Devo-like "Do U Buy It?"). In the wrong hands, this could all turn into a gigantic mess. Lyrics Born keeps it tight and tidy.