Paper Tiger – Beat Tape

4 out of 5

Produced by: Paper Tiger

Label: Doomtree

A nicely varied set of what you’d suppose: beats.  But this is, thankfully, a step above hip-hop instrumentals and a mix tape, as it strays far from the repetition I often find in the former, and has more linearity than I often find in the latter.  While some snippets of samples and sounds do seem to be re-used across these 15 tracks, Paper Tiger shows off a great sense of both sequencing and creativity, shifting between more soulful moments, and more electronica-tinged stuff, and groove, all rather seamlessly blended and yet distinct enough, song to song, that you can cycle through the album on repeat and not be bored by it.  The short track lengths definitely help, although the few extra seconds allowed by tracks that make it to 2 minutes or over are generally the best, developing past the concept stage to something a little more driving and fleshed out.

Which is really the main criticism here: as this is, still, “just” a beat tape, nothing really pushes past head-bobbing to really become a standout track.  These are clearly ideas that can eventually be used for someone to rhyme over, but boiled down to their bestest moments, much to our listening benefit.