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Chilly Gonzales is a world record piano player, a Jewish rapper, a producer, a soundtrack composer and he also achieved numerous album of the year accolades for his Boy’s Noize produced Ivory Tower album.

There’s no doubt that Chilly Gonzales is a very talented. So when we heard he was going to do a full orchestral rap album we raised more than an eyebrow.

The album is a very short but sweet clocking in at a paltry 27 minutes long and is less a traditional rap album and more a cacophony of clever one-liner rhymes about the state of the music industry.

Call us cynical but less than half an hour seems a little mean. Especially from someone who has so much to say. Anyway it’s very good. But way too short. If you heard the medley given away a few months ago – there not much you haven’t heard.

There’s no doubt that It’s highly entertaining, but is over way to quickly and almost falls into the bear pit of being a novelty album.

This time, the self-appointed “musical genius” admits that, “the genius is in the arrangements”, and this because it was produced by his brother, Christophe Beck, who is a Emmy award winning composer.

The CD opens with ‘Super Villain Music’ and an opening one-liner “come listen to a jerk talk about how hard he works” it does sound like a fusion of a hollywood orchestra coupled with the snappy clever raps of the wise-cracking Uncle Gonzo.

It’s a very honest and endearing portrayal of what he thinks of himself, his music and his schizophrenic set of talents.

‘Self Portrait’ starts with a self obsessed line of “I said I was a musical genius I have repeated until it became meaningless. Because you assumed i was a joking and then you thought about it like he’s not joking” . The album’s orchestral undertones are clean, classy and really add to the novelty of the album.

Many of the tracks come across more as rap confessions more than anything, but it’s hard not to draw a smile from the numerous jokes a long the way.

Highs come in the form ‘Different Kind Of Prostitute’ where he slams other unnamed entertainers and their ego’s with some clever rhymes like. “Other entertainers are incompetent, they wanna sound hard like consonants, but it’s all false confidence. The audience is dominant”.

‘Rap Race’ talks about the perceived idea that if you don’t like rap then your probably racist – it’s tongue and cheek and will be probably lost on those of you who don’t like and rap and hip-hop. But it’s highly entertaining stuff. He rhymes “If you don’t like rap then face it you’ll probably hate this. Then your probably racist. Maybe you like the XX or the Gossip”.

As he says in the final track, “My new album’s finished, you might not like it / But it’s good for you, eat your spinach”. And if you choose not to, he’ll be along with a new flavour before too long. As that final song also advises, “one of these days I’ll shut up and play piano…”

Chilly Gonzales’ new album shows different side to Gonzo many probably didn’t realise existed, but as far as orchestral rap album goes – he and his brother have nailed it. It’s clever, entertaining and incredibly original.

We guarantee you never hear anything quite like this – and for that it’s a very good album. It has its problems. But if you’ve been to see him live you’ll be right at home. More comedy rap dude than gangsta rapper – but that’s what makes him stand out from the crowd. It shows that rap can be more than ho’s, guns and 40’s.

HBF Rating 7/10

Uncle Gonz has another hilarious new video, directed by Jonathan Barre (“Never Stop,” “You Can Dance”) for “Party In My Mind.” it definetley worth a watch.

Keep an eye on Chilly’s official site this week, as he’ll be putting up a free remix of “Party In My Mind” from Mighty Mouse! Boys Noize is also putting the finishing touches on another remix of “Party In My Mind,” which will also feature XV, so keep an ear out for that remix coming your way soon!

Andrew Rafter

Andrew Rafter is the editor and founder of Harder Blogger Faster.