The Coup: A 21 Day Revolution Within
Equator Recordings; 2008
James Christos mixes humility with bravado. He isn’t called Big this or King that, but shares initials with God’s son. The album title is a tall order too and Christos exhibits optimum swagger as he rants, raves and speculates over fiery yet untitled tracks to establish his Guerrilla Movement. Will this Kansas testifier set the world afire with his ministry?
The Coup is a puzzling call to arms: Christos invites you to get hype, but hopes you dig deeper. The songs are titled Opus One through 15. Perhaps this is smart marketing in this age of “track two is hot, track nine is long,” egotism or an attempt to assert his creativity.
“This right here is a masterpiece, James Christos is a genius at least, I’m fire over ice there is no retreat, guerrilla movement is here let’s eat.” Brimming with confidence, Christos buoys you up with “Opus Two,” “Act ignant, here to get you lifted” his enthusiasm (and enunciation) is reminiscent of Give It Away’s Anthony Kiedis.
Donning a (tilted) conscious cap and wrapped in the garms of “let’s get it” anthems and street talking, “I put a lot of glamour on a little logic” his agenda is not explicit.
He displays boundless energy even on tracks unworthy of it and maintains the momentum throughout. The self-produced tracks hustle and bustle whilst Christos infuses them with honesty and passion but not much clarity. Occasionally polemical (“Opus Four”), slightly didactic (“Opus Nine”) Christos scatters his rage.
“Opus Four” seems anti-Church; its sinister music sounds like the organist sipped sizzurp. Christos sermonises about violence and salvation, but the song’s too busy and the message seems scrambled. On Opus Six he gets a bit clearer over more creepy keyboards, “God’s all in me, I’m a top shotta” then ducks behind his love of rhyming (and self).
The bluster can be exhausting. More songs like album closer Opus Nine would be nice. Christos dominates the track but the sparking backdrop invites you to listen.
The Guerilla Movement is vague, but it never hurt Thug Life. The smoke mirrors and metaphors approach conjures up a sense of revolution and the music chugs this feeling along but to where and for what, is anyone’s guess.
Christos believes evolution is a type of revolution; it’s a slow process, maybe he’ll rewrite his manifesto when he hits the top.
- Sonia N.