Eliot Lipp might be a new addition to the Pretty Lights Music Label, but he is a far from being new on the scene. Eliot has been releasing music since 2004’s S/T LP and has forged a strong friendship with Derek Vincent Smith (Pretty Lights). Armed with a new direction in his music, it only seems right that Eliot release his latest effort Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake through Pretty Lights Music.
Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake is a far cry from last Lipp’s last album, 2009’s Peace Love Weed 3D. Lipp has found himself in a more focused and developed point of his career; all without losing his sharp creative-edge. Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake comes across as loose concept album intended for the headphones of EDM fans instead of a nightclub soundsystem.
Eliot Lipp :: Alive
The beginning is an introduction to Lipp’s new style, where the first three tracks (“Alive,” “Mountain,” and “The Sunset”) bring you into the world he is about to create. Although the album struggles to find a consistent identity at times, it really finds its true shine while focusing on Lipp’s unique blend of hip-hop, funk, jazz and soul. “Alive” and “The Sunset” accomplish exactly what they set out to do; let you see the world through Eliot’s eyes with an amazingly effortless combination of decisive melodies and bright synth-brass.
Eliot Lipp :: The Shark
“The Shark” opens with a smooth, smoky and glossy 70’s soul-funk that is reminiscent of an Isaac Hayes slow-jam complete with a keyboard solo in the middle that will even make Dam Funk feel as if he were in a surreal dream. Closing out the heavy r&b section of the album is “Sneakin’ (Baby Part 1)” and “Fly Away (Baby Part 2).” Both of these tracks are expertly produced, yet seem to drag to an end and lose their punch before they completely satisfy.
Eliot Lipp :: The Wolf
To most Eliot Lipp fans, the next facet of this sonic world will start to sound the most unique and fresh. While not trying to stay within one firm genre of music, Eliot takes his newfound strength for binding R&B, funk, and hip-hop and gathers them together with a characteristic free-form approach to each song. This is where the album finds its full stride and flourishes.
Eliot Lipp :: Gettin’ Money (feat. Michal Menert)
While supplying expertly layered tracks like “The Wolf” and “The Time Is Right”, the highlight of the album is clearly Eliot’s collaboration with Michal Menert: “Gettin’ Money”. This track is unmistakably a PLM track and can rival the work of anyone on the label; this respectfully includes his new boss.
Eliot Lipp :: The Rabbit
After a crowning achievement like “Gettin’ Money”, Eliot avoids falling into a trap of a lackluster finale. “The Rabbit” and “Tonight” are hip-hop dominated songs that are built off of dynamic and prominent snare, kicks, and high-hats. “On N’ On” is the grittiest track on Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake driven by a deep kick-drum that begs MCs like Schoolboy Q to come and collaborate.
Eliot Lipp :: The Snake
Eliot leaves you with one last sly glimpse as he concludes the album with “The Snake” and “The Chase”. Bringing you back to where you began with a mellower 70’s R&B feel, “The Snake” gives you a chance to remember where Lipp began and where he’s at now with a sleek techno/funk track which which begs to be enjoyed at Eliot’s next live performance.
Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake is a complete departure from previous releases by Eliot Lipp, but this is far from a desperate re-tooling of the formula that made us love Eliot to begin with. Lipp has added a destructive arsenal of soulful and funky samples to his already strong hip-hop and EDM background. This isn’t the definitive Eliot Lipp album (that is still to come in my opinion) and it can tend to think too far outside the box at times, but this is clearly a large step forward for the NYC-based producer and his best work to date.