Star Crusader is a meticulously crafted musical endeavour that should be praised not only for it's quality of content, but its innovation and vision. The 4th instalment in the Flowtaku series comes to us from the Canadian artist known as Twizzie. A diverse musician known for pushing boundaries and taking risks, we begin to see Twizzie establish a foothold in a new genre he has appropriately coined as "danger pop."
Let's dig in.
1. Hermit Purple
A fun and quirky opening to the project. Funky keys that sound reminiscent of a twisted mad hatters idea of a tea party pierce through your speakers, while a lazy orchestra of brass mellows out the tempo. Twiz wastes no time in showing his lyrical ability while also taking time to let the listeners know, "we ain't trynna put this in a box no more, it ain't pop, it ain't hip-hop, it ain't metal, imma call this shit danger pop!" It is then revealed at the end of the song that Twizzie takes on the moniker the "Star Crusader" as our host for the onset of the project.
2. Hierophant Green
Get your absinthe ready when playing this one. This song opens like a circus maestro is rallying to gather his troop to instruct them on the coming mission as the Star Crusader lets us know exactly who he is. As the song plays out and K the Chosen delivers the first feature verse of the project the feeling of an intergalactic space party swells. This track serves well for the listener seeking a joyous anthem for the bohemian culture.
3. Dio's World
If cruising the cosmic highway with the topdown as the sun sunk down behind Jupiters horizon was a possibility, this is the song you would be playing. Dio's World starts off with a fast tempo to get you moving, but is reigned in when Troo Knot delivers vocals adding a layer of depth with a smooth and elegant note. The once fast paced track that began midday is carried to the finish with a golden saxophone to bring the day to a satisfying calm.
4. The Fool
This is my first play through of the project and the placement of this song is perfect. As Dio's World felt warm and golden but finished on a cool summers night, The Fool feels like one of those late night drive tracks that you play when you need to work some stuff out. Thus far The Fool is easily the Star Crusader's most emotionally vulnerable moment. It doesn't feel forced or campy, it feels authentic and relatable. Atmospheric echoes set deep and dark tones while 80s electric guitars hint at the anxiety under the surface while an honest conversation ensues.
5. Silver Chariot
What do you get when you mix futuristic dystopian fight club anthems with Twizzie and the Star Crusader? Answer: the Silver Chariot. Screamo punctuations and a "full force I'm going fast" that literally sounds like a flurry of hooks is crushing your skull. The production value of this album is undeniably evident this far into the project. I'm unfamiliar with the feature artist Bvitae, but their appearance is strong enough to make me interested in checking out any solo content they have out.
6. Magician Red
Twizzie is known for changing his sound between projects, but it's impressive how he's been able to change sounds between tracks for this one while somehow maintaining a cohesive story arc. Magician Red plays like the first machine with artificial intelligence is emerging into consciousness. It's hopeful and dreamlike, yet, somehow subtly anxiety ridden. Perhaps coming from the moments of "Shut down!" abruptly disconnecting you from the dream like state that is produced by the neon like piano. Magician red is the shortest song on the album and sounds like an interlude leading into something.. successfully creating a moment of intrigue for the listener.
7. Killer Queen
Killer queen is the lead single of Star Crusader, click here to read the in depth breakdown.
8. The Sun
In a surprising twist, The Sun subdues the emphatic energy that Killer Queen produces. Sultry keys usher us to tender vocals, showing just how far both the Star Crusader and Twizzie have come in this journey. A plush piano bar lined with leather booths where cigar smoke fills the air, the pianist near the corner pours out over the keys in silence with his bourbon nearly empty. However, this isn't a sad moment, it feels confident, triumphant and optimistic. Shout out to Zacarias for a standout feature.
9. Star Platinum
As Star Platinum opens up I find myself literally laughing out loud. Ever the contrarian, just when you think you've nailed down this albums formula Twizzie throw you a curveball. Instead of riding out the emotional moments left by The Sun, Star Platinum shreds your ear drums like a menacing space rockstar is mid guitar solo thrash. The song itself throws a curve, completely changing its sound as a robotic alarm sounds midway through. Half alarm to let you know this is your only resting point before the Star Crusader lifts you back up to throw you back into his mosh pit. Star Platinum is a dizzying and brilliant end note to Star Crusader and the 4th instalment of the Flowtaku series. Leaving you eager to listen and enjoy the experience again.
Simply stated Star Crusader is a visceral experience that any music and art enthusiast can derive joy from. The album artwork is top tier and helps set a standard and mood for the musical experience the listener is about to embark on. With the right marketing behind this project it very well may be the thing to put Twizzie into the same league and conversations as the next big thing out of Canada.
(On a personal note, someone get Twiz on an Anders or Manila Grey track.)
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