St. Croix — If you’re one of our avid readers, you’ll know we’ve been experimenting with stories highlighting music lately. So we figured we’d kick it up a notch and review an album from a local artist. Take a look:
Book of Sav
Book of Sav reads — or listens — as a play book for Wendell Claxton, also known as lyricist Junior Sparks, following up his 2017 release SAV WORLD. The album opens with heavy bass and a clear nod to classical music.
The album was produced by Jake Helodic and explores a sound of its own. Some of the high notes Junior Sparks hits grinded that cheeeese! (You’d have to cop the album to get that one) Junior Sparks manages to bring heavy hip-hop beats to the front door of the Vatican, with angelic voices propping up Hickory Dickory Dock, creating an ominous array of sounds that can’t be ignored.
“You gotta keep ya head up, you gotta make it better,” Get It begins. The colorful track inspires creativity and talks about what motivates him on his worst days. “Life ain’t a game it ain’t playful, sometimes my stomach it ain’t full, Sparks chants.”
2019 is all about goals for many people, and Junior Sparks says he’s “Gotta stack that doe,” Get It bumps. “Let’s get it bro, you gotta get up (get up), you too comfortable.”
Unlike previous releases, you can’t spin Book of Sav on the official Soundcloud or YouTube accounts. Book of Sav is available to stream or purchase on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music and other platforms. Sparks also sells Savlyfe inspired merchandise and apparel through Sav Nation. His squad seems to be hustling on all sides of the fence this year.
“Y’all niggas steady frontin’ y’all gon alway be on average shit,” Junior Sparks spits on Pah She Deh with King Nitti. The beat is sick and the lyrics are heavy. Pah She Deh is unmistakably a diss track meant for anyone who feels threatened by the lyrics.
The collection of music is a defiant display of masculinity disguised as a millionaire mentality for Cruzans, hungry enough to take it.
Wendell Claxton and co-owner Kadeem Pemberton opened Gas Lamp, a restaurant in La Grande Princesse that takes orders online and delivers to customers.
Opening a restaurant right after dropping your third studio album is no small feat. Millionaires do it everyday.
The soft launch was exclusively covered by the Consortium in mid-December, and the restaurant’s food and customer service received high praise on social media.
Pemberton worked on Albert Bryan’s campaign and rallied behind the newly elected governor as a voice for millennials.
Art of Story Telling enfuses guitar strings staring Sparks balancing on a mysterious beat. The Book of Sav has a unique mixture of soundscapes that blend with the story-line. Telling a story on the track, Sparks rebukes the block saying “I was never into chilling on the block, buh I know a lot of niggas on the block.
Get Lit has been on my workout playlist since the album dropped because of its inspirational lyrics. Digital Love manages to be the standout track — at least for me. Here, Sparks slows it down with a softer R&B track and two minutes of semi-romantic bars.
Near the end of Sparks’ lyrical book, it dawned on me that Book of Sav is a blueprint with missing pages. How do you get rich? You hustle, your own way. Pure White was the surprise banger, that almost feels like it should be the movie score for the Da Vinci Code, ending the album with melodic flows and a nonchalant shrug.
The Book of Sav sounds like it was recorded in a dungeon with a choir of angels cheffing up hip-hop beats — it’s simply angelic. Sparks is switching gears with the flows and his success isn’t Make Believe.
We don’t have an elaborate scoring system — yet — but I’d say the album is a solid listen for the backseat DJs or anyone who wants to vibe with a motivational local album.