Untitled
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Untitled

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"Sounds like a more melodic version of Ozomatli mixed with Kanye West and some true electric funkiness..." - UBO Magazine


Like many music journalists, I’ve reviewed a wide range of genres, including Christian artists. I reviewed hot gospel groups that got me up moving to their beat, soul singers who thrilled me with their vocal talents, and grungy screamer bands that I had to admire for playing rough metal venues. Some of the messages were in-your-face and radical. Others were just new takes on traditional themes and didn’t do much musically or spiritually.

However, when Chicago-based band, Untitled, send me their new CD, Wake Up!, I sat up and took notice. This band is monster size with little ego. Nine members strong currently, the band is ethnically (African-American, Latino, and European-American) and musically diverse and draws from soul, funk, Latin, rock, and reggae. They are strong instrumentally, bringing technically skilled musicians (guitar, bass, drums, percussion, and trumpet) into the mix. But it is over this beautiful musical base that two MC s present their slice-of-life raps about problems that face this country, with three singers offering backup vocals. It’s an unusual mix of sounds and genres and it works!

In Wake Up!, Untitled presents eight of the band members sans current trumpet player. It also includes seven guest musicians (keys, drums, violin, sax, and trumpet), a guest poet, and a guest rapper. The result is a dynamic sound that is not only consciousness-raising, but also spiritual. Yet, they don’t hammer their spiritual point so much that you shut down about it. The social and spiritual problems they talk about are concerns politicians and social commentators have been discussing–crime, rape, AIDS in Africa, starvation amid obesity, poverty, drugs, etc. The problems are told in story form about real people, but the solutions are spiritual.

The band even protests their right to do music their way in “Right 2 Live.” It’s a condemnation of the media, especially television, that labels music and seems to want to restrict what this band is trying to do. It is clear from this one song that the band has had problems with mainstream media recognizing their sound and what they are about. The lyrics in this song, by the way, are swapped back and forth between three MC s in English and Spanish.

The use of a chorus is a great tool Untitled applies to several songs. “Popular Opinion” uses a female chorus to start out a treatise on inner beauty delivered by the MC s. In “Open Your Eyes,” “Freedom Fire,” and “Change” the female voices draw in listeners to the hard message the MC brings. Male choruses are used in “Right 2 Live,” “Breakfree,” and “Eternity.”

There is a delightful jazz rendering at the end of “Eternity.” It’s a pleasant break to the heaviness of the rap that precedes it.

Untitled has been able to take a time-worn message and breathed new life into it. The band presents a spiritual message in inventive, new ways to a new generation. This album crosses a number of genres and audiences, whether you come for the music or the message. Look for more to come from this band.

Janie Franz,

The Grateful Web
- The Grateful Web (Gratefulweb.net)


Discography

Wake Up! LP

Photos

Bio

Untitled is a band that merges the sounds hip hop, soul, funk, latin, rock, and reggae with a positive message all the while continually pushing the boundaries of sound and thought that invade contemporary trends in music . The group is innovative, purpose driven, and thought provoking, constantly striving to impart change, growth, wisdom, and love with a spiritual awareness. Untitled’s message speaks truth about the world and the people in it through their own life experiences. The lyrics are personal, addressing the day-to-day circumstances we all face as individuals. The music is encouraging, eye-opening, challenging and authentic, while at the same time providing a rich melodic groove pleasing to the ear.
Untitled began in 2003, in Waukegan, Illinois under the vision of three young men, Caméron, Jeremy, and Josh. Raised on soul, reggae, r&b, and gospel, and growing up in a generation brought up on hip-hop, the three were given a vision to take these sounds and partner them while going against the present style in hip-hop and staying true to their selves and their beliefs. Their goal was to challenge society as well as educate and encourage it.
Untitled made their debut in 2004, in Chicago; they have since flourished into a large versatile band that combines the voices of eight people beneath one vision. But aside from the message, this band is filled with an array of talented musicians. Each member is experienced or trained in their respective gifts for more than 10 years. Together with the musicianship of the members and a greater purpose, Untitled is fully prepared to break down boundaries and revolutionize the world in these times.
This bands musicianship is unlike any other heard before—a live 8 piece band attacks all genres of music with soulful vocals harmonizing in the background and fearless, ambitious emcees leading the way driving a revolutionary message. Their live shows are breathe taking, emotional engaging, and technically superior. With songs that will have you bouncin’ your head, and lyrics causing you to opening your eyes—it’s enlightening and refreshing to hear what’s really going on around you.
Untitled is nothing that you would expect it to be. The message is real to their understanding and perceptions of the world they live in. Untitled is just as they describe themselves, untitled. There are not enough words to illustrate the impact of this diverse and unique band. Ranging from a variety of different cultures, races and ages to unify under one goal, one message, one sound. Untitled refuses to conform to any box or category, because they are not the typical artist. The band Untitled is a group of people telling the story of their lives and sharing it with everyday people just like themselves.