Most noticeably, Lockah's music has become graceful. First single "If Loving U Is Wrong, I Don't Want To Be Wrong" is a fist-pump in slow motion, with its swooping leads and cooing vocals. It's held in line by chunky '80s drums that frame the track instead of dominating it, revelling in the contrast between the music's soft and hard elements. Lockah has a way of piling on the hooks, and by the time the rolling piano comes into view, you might be fist-pumping yourself.
Yahoo Or The Highway is best in its twilit moments. Despite its title, "Some Velvet Evening" is more velour than the deluxe stuff, a toy incarnation of booming '80s power ballads. "Cleft N Twain," with its twitching hi-hats, takes us deeper and darker still.
These highlights show off a mature sense of composition, but Lockah hasn't quite worked out all the kinks. "Ayyo Technology" mows down its intricate backing track with a stuttering vocal that doesn't add anything other than cacophony. A few of the tracks feel too similar, as if everything on the album was made from the same Lego set.
Still, a samey sound palette is justified when it's this addictive, and Lockah's music is so joyous it can be hard to resist. Earnest and often cloying, Yahoo Or The Highway isn't for everyone, but in Donky Pitch's candy-coated world of upturned hip-hop clichés, Lockah's a star right next to The Range, Ghost Mutt and Slugabed. His debut album comes closer than ever to proving it.
Sat / 26 Apr 2014
01. A Face Only Another Could Love
02. Some Velvet Evening
03. Ayyo Tricknology
04. Contact High Wit Big Lockah
05. Thick-Ass Jawn Riddim (Devil Mix)
06. If Loving U Is Wrong, I Don’t Want To Be Wrong
07. Cleft N Twain
08. Summer Jorts (Some Cats Still Do)
09. Shark’s Sad Mouth In The 1st Pic
10. Heartless Monster
11. Every Song Was About U
12. I Went Home
13. Street Jam To The Second Power