Yelawolf – Creekwater

yelawolf - creekwater

The intro to Creekwater explains what I thought would be the theme of the album: “the ocean of war, separation, religion, and creation … and finally from the streams to the creeks, creekwater.” The chorus repeats over nature-y sounds before Yelawolf introduces the theme of creekwater again on Creekwater, unfortunately the theme doesn’t really unify the album in any meaningful way and feels wasted, but I like the idea and there’s a lot of promise on the album. Michael Wayne Atha self-released Creekwater as Yelawolf in 2005, two years later it would get Columbia’s attention and help him secure his first record deal, a solid listen is all it takes to see why. The lyrics on Creekwater might be pretty simplistic and easy to follow, but they’re delivered with such precision in an infectious southern accent that it doesn’t really matter most of the time. The 6th song Darehego is where the album really starts to pick up, here is a demonstration of what Yelawolf does best: rapid-fire flow and a catchy chorus. There’s a shoutout to his (half) Cherokee roots on the line “Cherokee eagle feather, jelly peanut butter,” the guitar sounds right at home and there’s no sense of distortion in spite of the almost dreamy pads. A piano kicks in on Makeup, I feel like there was an idea here that never took off, the chorus fits the creekwater theme: “go stand in the rain and let it wash off all your makeup,” but again, there’s no mention of it and nothing calls out the theme, that being said there’s a lot of technical skill and a willingness to slow things down, I didn’t dislike this at all. There’s a flash of genius on Bible Belt, the Yes sample (Gates of Delirium) is perfect here: “Dead Native American spirits swarm through the foothills and whisper through the weeping willows, it moves like a water rapid dancing through your meadows.” I understand that the lyrics on this song imply what flows into the creekwater and that I may be nitpicking, but without mentioning or alluding to it, it makes the concept of creekwater feel like an afterthought. Yelawolf experiments with two different tempos on Sleeping Beauty, there’s a zen every time the piano slows down again and Yelawolf says “there’s a million soldiers living at my home.” Creekwater is full of skill and promise, my only real complaint is introducing a theme that isn’t really used, with better producers (and maybe writers too) Yelawolf seems capable of so much more, but taking into account this was a non-studio effort it’s hard to be too critical. It’s definitely worth checking out for Yelawolf fans. As Yela says on It Ain’t Over: “if you hear fakeness then brother you hear me not.

2/5

2005 / 61:00

Replay: No.

Added to Playlist:
Creekwater: High Times
Darehego: Hip Hop + R&B
Bible Belt: High Times
Soul Everyday: High Times

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