June 04, 2021

AZ - A.W.O.L. (2005)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: FSL-CD-29
.FLAC via Florenfile
.AAC 256 kbps via Florenfile

© 2005 Fastlife
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason
Over a decade into a career that has never propelled AZ into the commercial position the uniformly high quality of his music has deserved, A.W.O.L. is yet another quietly excellent slice of powerful hip-hop that deserves greater acclaim. "Never Change" alone is a small masterpiece, an evocation of the strong bonds of friendship that's set to a track that effectively uses a wailing R&B diva voice (think, believe it or not, of "The Great Gig in the Sky" by Pink Floyd!) without turning it into a cheap, distracting hook. Although several producers contribute to A.W.O.L., AZ (born Anthony Cruz) is commanding enough a focal point that the album hangs together as a whole. Tough without being thuggish, and clear-eyed and un-glamorizing about the gritty topics of songs like "Still Alive" and "Envious," AZ is at least the equal of better-known contemporaries like Nas, and A.W.O.L. is further proof of his talents.

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tags: az, awol, 2005, flac,