Review – “Rapplicable Skills” – Wordburglar


rapplicable skills
reviewed by Michael Thomas

Wordburglar takes the elevator up to the fifth floor, looking for the office of MUSIC CRITIC. It’s only been two years since he released Welcome to Cobra Island, but he isn’t sure how much MUSIC CRITIC will remember him.

He finally finds the office and knocks on the door.

“Come in,” MUSIC CRITIC says. Upon confirming it’s Wordburglar, as expected, he motions for him to take a seat.

“Thank you for seeing me,” MUSIC CRITIC says. “I understand you have a new album?”

“I do,” Wordburglar says. “Its called Rapplicable Skills.”

“Rapplicable? Is that some kind of pun?”

“Well, if you listen to my song ‘Word Currency,’ you’ll see what I mean,” Wordburglar replies. “Like many of my other songs, it revolves around a theme but throws so many references at you that you’ll want to listen to it a few times more. Anyway, the song is about how my rhymes will always keep me employed,”

“You make some bold claims,” MUSIC CRITIC says. “What are some of these references you make in that song?”

“Not to toot my own horn, but my opening line is pretty good,” Wordburglar replies. “I’ll put you out of work/Like actors in Saskatchewan, after Corner Gas was gone.”

“I like that!” MUSIC CRITIC says, clapping his hands with glee. “I suppose you must have lots of Canadian references scattered around the album?”

“You would be correct,” Wordburglar says. “In ‘Boombaparang,’ I shout out President’s Choice, and in ‘Word the Frig Up’ I say ‘It’s a win-win, like the Ontario election.’ Think about that one for a moment.”

“A shoutout to Kathleen Wynne? Very nice. But so far I’m only seeing scattered references to Canada. Any songs focusing on people or places?”

“I’m glad you asked. In ‘Bill Mosienko (21 Seconds),’ I use beats a bit more intense than normal to tell the story of the Winnipeg-born hockey player who scored a hat trick. And you can’t get much more Canadian than ‘Channel Halifax,’ which shouts out just about everything currently or formerly in Halifax. Since I grew up there, it’s a pretty personal track for me.”

“Personal tracks are great! Do you have any others like that?”

“I think you’ll enjoy ‘Narc Hi-Score (In Nintendo Power).’ I tell the story of how I got a huge score in some cop video game and laboured to submit my score and see it in Nintendo Power magazine. The story is augmented by video-game influenced beats, which I think really adds to the charm.”

“Great, now I’m always looking for team players. How are you with collaboration?”

“In ‘Walkmen’ Ghettosocks contributes some pretty cosmic verses in a generally calmer track than what you’ll normally see. But if you want to see the best of space-inspired songs, check out ‘Warp Formula’ which features Chokeules, Mega Ran, More or Les, Savilion, Sy-Fi, Timbuktu and Ultra Magnus. It may be, dare I say, the sci-fi-rap equivalent of ‘Northern Touch.'”

“It seems to me you’ve got a good sense of humour; I was listening to ‘Je Ne Care Pas’ before you got here and I loved the chill-out message that also included references to zucchini cake. But convince me that you can mix up the mood if need be.”

“Got you covered,” Wordburglar says. “You can’t get much spookier than ‘The Other Shop’ followed by ‘Spectre Inspectors.’ The former is about an unnamed shop that seems to have everything yet nothing; it’s ‘a vermin terminal with a Batman on the door.’ And then the latter uses ghostly-sounding samples for a song on, you guessed it, ghosts.”

“Well, Mr. Wordburglar, you’ve thoroughly answered all my questions. I don’t even need to interview other applicants. You’re hired.”

Top Tracks: “Word the Frig Up”; “Je Ne Care Pas”; “Warp Formula”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) +*swoop*

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