Sicknature Gets Personal on 4th Album “Paintings of a Withered Forest”, First Solo Effort in a Decade (Album Review)
This is the 4th full-length solo album from Copenhagen, Denmark emcee & producer Sicknature. Coming up as a member of the revered German production team Snowgoons, he’s also been showcasing his talents on the mic for nearly 18 years starting with The Outbreak as well as Honey I’m Home & my personal favorite: Nature of the Contaminated. But with the 10-year anniversary of the latter approaching this fall & fully producing The Colossus of GOATs for Napoleon da Legend roughly 5 months ago, the Danish extraordinaire is looking to make a comeback why vividly portraying Paintings of a Withering Forest.
“A Few Good Paintings” is a piano boom bap opener to the album discussing leaving the past in the past whereas “Dynahmite Harry” works in some heavy kicks & snares talking about how explosive his shit be whether it be his lyrics or his production work. “Plastic Sun” acknowledges that the titular object won’t give you any vitamins with the instrumental kinda giving off a DJ Premier influence which isn’t a bad thing, but then “Street Dance Records” talks about needing more records over a horn-inflicted boom bap beat.
On the other hand, “Little Mermaids” weaves some more keys with kicks & snares telling the story of a quiet girl in one of his classes that actually used to be a prom queen leading into “A Nonfiction Story” recalling the 1998 Roskilde festival keeping it in boom bap territory as far as sound goes. “Rewinding the Tape” has a more solemn tone to it sincerely apologizing for getting shit so fucked up just before “Road Walk” vulnerably talks about not looking back because he knows where’s been.
The penultimate track “Lonely Den” brings back the pianos encouraging to come on over to the titular spot because they got better songs & finally to round out the album, we have Sicknature appropriately doing everything he can in his might to “Brush Off” any distractions & encouraging everyone else who may be listening to do the same with another Premier-inspired instrumental backing him.
Nature of the Contaminated gives me a lot of high school junior year memories (particularly “Violent Rage” featuring the Heavy Metal Kings) so considering that it’s been nearly a decade since he went solo, I wasn’t sure if this day was ever gonna come & I’m glad it did. The concept of this one is more personal than what he’s done in the past as he puts a more melodic spin on the traditional boom bap sound we know & love.