Artist: The Agency Operative

Album: Episode 2: Agent on a Mission

Genre: Hip-hop/ Rap, Alternative

Episode 2: Agent on a Mission is an imaginatively structured transformational hip-hop/ rap album by The Agency Operative. This hip-hop artist has gone from playing the trumpet, journaling, writing rhymes to becoming a vocalist. The album was released in 2015, his second effort following Episode 1, that was released in 2011.

Track Rating
1.       Episode 2- Mission Complete ★★★☆☆
2.       Mission Statement ★★★☆☆
3.       I Will Rise ★★★½☆
4.       NJ Drive Drive ★★★½☆
5.       I Wonder (Dreamgirl) ★★★★☆
6.       U The Bomb ★★½☆☆
7.       Slow It Down ★★★☆☆
8.       Taking Matters In My Own Hands ★★★☆☆
9.       H.A.T.T.E ★★★☆☆
10.   Roll Em (Roll The Dice) ★★★½☆
11.   Agent On A Mission ★★★☆☆
12.   War On The Middle Class ★★★☆☆
13.   Round 1 (Final) ★★★☆☆
14.   Long Awaited ★★★☆☆
15.   Paint The Picture ★★★½☆
16.   Episode 2 Dynamo ★★★☆☆

 

  1. Episode 2- Mission Complete

The opening track is a short clip that adds flavor to the upcoming tracks; more vital than expected.

  1. Mission Statement

The beats liven up the track, sounding ‘just right’; but it’s nothing hip-hop is unfamiliar to. The fast pace and conventionality of the track’s structure however, works in its favor; allowing you to ease into the rhythm of the album.

  1. I Will Rise

The opening beats of I Will Rise remind you of the unflustered, effortlessly cool guy in the table. However, the gradual repetition of ‘I Will Rise (Rise Rise)’ in the chorus, and the rap that follows sounds more melancholy & beaten than inspirational. It’s a gritty, gripping track; the lack of punch to the vocals only drawing you in to listen more closely.

  1. NJ Drive Drive

This track paints a vivid picture of the rapper’s world that seems transient with every progressive beat. You feel like you’re on a drive, the lyrics hooking you till the very end.

  1. I Wonder (Dreamgirl)

I Wonder has a softer, more earnest sound to it. It resonates with you, as the melody is in sync with its every inflection. The vocals carry you to the heart of the song, making it a fresh and beautiful track to listen to.

  1. U The Bomb

This track is more playful, and very generic. Everything, from the beats to the lyrics is snappy but not out of the ordinary.

  1. Slow it Down

Slow it Down is a captivating duet that captures the vocalist’s internal tug-of-war. The female vocals particularly strike a chord.

  1. Taking Matters In My Own Hands

The beats mean business, as the lyrics ooze relentlessness. The rapper’s sing-song voice adds to the catchiness of the tune and message.

  1. A.T.T.E

The rapper really spells out ‘hate’ here, with a chorus that both taunts and educates. It boils down to a chant that is infectious in spite of itself and inspires thought.

  1. Roll Em (Roll the Dice)

The opening instrumentation is a puzzling and a pleasant contrast to the rap. It is a well-produced track that easily involves the listener into its madness.

  1. Agent On A Mission

This track articulates the rapper’s mission, and it’s a track that’s energetic from start till end. It gets you in on the rapper’s journey, with fast, plucky beats that keep you on your toes.

  1. War On The Middle Class

This track crackles with purpose throughout; starting and ending with a jolt. It is steady in its complexity, taking it to places far beyond the punch the previous track packed.

  1. Round 1 (Final)

It’s a smoother and less adrenaline pumping track this time, though the feeling remains intense. The lyrics hook you in, as do the echoes throughout the track.

  1. Long Awaited

Featuring an anthemic background score, this track makes you aware of the slow but significant passage of time since the first track. The track touches on previously explored themes, while still retaining the element of resurgence.

  1. Paint The Picture

The track lyrically paints the artist’s exploration. It’s a layered and interesting listen, one that has much to ponder about and enjoy.

  1. Episode 2 Dynamo

This two-minute track marks the closing of the album. Finishing the narrative that the album began with, it marks a satisfying closure to the thrilling, ongoing hook.

Verdict: The Agency Operative takes us through a very refreshing and interestingly presented hip-hop/ rap album. However, losing a few tracks would’ve helped keep us in sync throughout!

Final rating: ★★★★★★½☆☆☆