There was much apprehension before reviewing “A Long Red Hot Los Angeles Summer Night’ concept albums can be tricky. Sometimes the artist and or artists get too wrapped up in the story and the music can become bloated and unlistenable. The other end of the spectrum is that they create a story and world that feels lived in and that the album feels like a living breathing thing. Well with “A Long Red Hot Los Angeles Summer Night” it definitely feels vibrant and alive.
When listening to “A Long Red Hot Los Angeles Summer Night” the level of storytelling is front and center. Right from the start “The Lost Angels Anthem” drops you right into the setting and vividly describes the atmosphere without feeling hokey. The album then continues to build as you listen to Blu describe how he is getting ready to go out while his friends are all hyping each other up for the night’s festivities. Then later on in the album, things go from bad to worse as the story gets fleshed out. I won’t spoil the story even if it isn’t difficult to follow along. The nice thing is that even though “A Long Red Hot Los Angeles Summer Night” had quite a few features because there are multiple characters in the story, the album didn’t feel bogged down or choppy more like that it felt like actors in a drama. All of the lyrists on the album really give tons of effort and it shows as none of it felt tacked on or unnecessary. Overall the lyrics are phenomenal and makes the listener see and feel what the characters are going through.
Oh No produces every track on the album and the beats are stellar but also give the performers plenty of room to shine. Many tracks on “A Long Red Hot Los Angeles Summer Night’ have a subtle 70’s vibe with songs like “Make The Call” and “Fresh Out” with different horn loops that really bring out the mood to the track. While to change the feeling throughout the story the tempos change subtlely and the instrumentation changes from woodwinds to synth loops. The track “Pop Shots” even feels like a gangsta rap “West Side Story” and it feels energetic and not corny which is a skill all by itself. On top of all of that the song “Murder Case” evokes the legendary Snoop Dogg song “Murder Was The Case” without feeling like it was ripped off but instead paid homage to the classic song with a new but familiar quality. It is obvious when listening to”A Long Red Hot Los Angeles Summer Night” that enthusiasm and care were taken with the entire project and the listener is the benefactor.
Overall “A Long Red Hot Los Angeles Summer Night” isn’t a perfect album with some of the hooks feeling forced and some outros to songs feeling slightly too long but largely it’s fantastic. For the minor faults that the album does have, it is made up for with artistry and storytelling. This is one of those albums where you are not just happy to review it but you feel lucky to have heard it.