Thievery Corporation – Culture of Fear

“Seems to me like they want us to be afraid, man. Or maybe we just like being afraid. Maybe we just so used to it at this point that it’s just a part of us, part of our culture. Security alert on orange. It’s been on orange since ’01, G. I mean wassup man? Can a brother get yellow, man?” – Mr. Lif

This monologue opens up Thievery Corporation’s title track on their sixth studio album, Culture of Fear (June 2011). To sum up the crux of this record: Slow down and chill out for a second dude; you have nothing to fear. The strong political message of this album is imbued in the chilled, spaced out grooves of the songs. Thievery Corporation have provided us with as many political messages as Minor Threat or Bad Brains but without pounding our eardrums to a pulp.

The album has a spaced out, transcendental feeling to it. It warms the soul. I felt lost in a world of groovin’ bass, well-layered synthesizers and ethereal guitar. It was consuming. I was chilling so hard I almost forgot where I was. The opening track, “Web of Deception,” instantly pulls the listener into the world of the album with tasty bass lines and reverbed guitars.

It’s a perfect lead-in to the album’s title track, which is jam-packed with the mad microphone skills of Mr. Lif and the Thievery Corporation tone. The rest of the album takes the listener through several musical styles including dub, reggae and house; all laced with Thievery Corporation’s signature sound. Sonically, this album is perfect, but what did you expect? Thievery Corporation’s members are producers—making things sound good is their craft.