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  High Contrast - High Society - Breakbeat Science
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Rating: 4.5 out of 5

by Sterling McGarvey

Lincoln Barrett returns older and wiser with his second effort for Hospital Records/Breakbeat Science, High Society. After a killer 2002 that saw the release of True Colours and his overnight catapult into the spotlight, and a 2003 that saw him put out the first drum n' bass Essential Mix in recent memory for BBC Radio One, he's back with his sophomore effort, High Society. The public got a taste last year when "Lovesick," the first track on the CD, showed up on his Essential Mix, along side "The Basement Track." For fear of sophomore slumps, one will feel compelled to ask, does it live up to his debut effort?

At a first glance, asking if it could live up to his first album might not be a fair assessment. After all, True Colours came out of left field and grabbed the attention of everyone from junglists to house snobs to prog house fiends. Its impact on an unsuspecting populace had a lot to do with its success. Having said that, High Society is an exceptionally well-composed effort. There are some tracks that feel a bit like filler, but the strength of other tracks balance out. In the time between Barrett composing tracks on Cubase in his bedroom to traveling the world and coming back to his production setup, he has released a more mature effort in which concepts hinted at in True Colours are fully realized on this album.

The cinematic undertones in tracks such as "Return to Forever" are now overall themes in tunes such as the album's title track, featuring Dynamite MC. "Twilight's Last Gleaming," already a dancefloor scorcher, is also included on this disc. Other future classics include the blaxploitation-influenced "Racing Green" and the somber, haunting "Brief Encounter." "Tutti Frutti" combines soulful vocals with a swelling film score ambience to create a powerful combination. "Persistence of Memory," with its stuttering, twittering breakdowns, soaring synth riffs, and vocal snippets, exemplifies what makes "a High Contrast track." It takes from everything we've ever heard him output and melds it into one soaringly killer tune.

Overall, it's a fantastic effort. There are no sophomore jinxes at work with this one. The listener will find an artist who has developed and flourished into the next level. He's not where he was in the beginning, but he's far from finished. If you're a fan of True Colours, it's not a question of 'should you buy'…it's of 'when you will buy.'

At Amazon.com

High Society from Amazon.com High Society
by High Contrast

Track Listing:

  1. Lovesick
  2. Tutti Frutti
  3. High Society featuring Dynamite MC
  4. Brief Encounter
  5. Racing Green
  6. Angels And Fly featuring Nolay
  7. Natural High
  8. The Persistence of Memory
  9. Twilight's Last Gleaming
  10. Only Two Can Play featuring Spoonface
  11. Yesterday's Colors
  12. The Basement Track

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