After a ten-year hiatus, the San Francisco-based group Invisible Inc. returns to action with Fine Print. The 15-song, 45-minute album has been teased on social media over the course of the last few weeks and finally dropped in the wee hours of March 30 to the delight of fans. The album was released on the Steel Wool/EMPIRE record labels.
— Invisible Inc. (@invisibleincsf) March 30, 2018
FINE PRINT: A Rebirth For Invisible Inc.
Suck City Tour Guides (2:53)
The Opposition (3:34)*
Same Way (3:29)
Wow! You Will Love It! (0:51)
Don Quixote feat. Gavlyn (3:54)
Shady (Interlude) (0:51)
Safe Spaceship (3:49)
Those Were the Days (3:27)
They Warned Us feat. Gift of Gab (3:53)
Leave it at the Door (2:57)
Sole Soul (3:59)
Never Let it Out of my Mind (2:26)
Just to say Hello (1:28)
*released as single
Tight beats reminiscent of the SoCal rap scene that propelled the group’s members to fame in their own rights. Socially-conscious lyrics calling attention to the problems everyone wants to see addressed but no one wants to address themselves. Nostalgic samples underneath hypnotic cadences.
Fine Print refuses to allow itself to be placed in a box, all the while calling back to the hip hop-meets-jazz sound of the band’s first album. The music is sometimes bizarre, sometimes upbeat, sometimes haunting, but never boring. “The Opposition” rages against politicians and social injustice with a defiant, shout-rapped hook. “Safe Spaceship” grooves line after line of carefully clever lyrics over an earworm of a beat. “Sole Soul” plunks out a sunny, laidback background for a gentle, lilting chorus. “Ragdoll” blends bright piano, moments of surf-rock influence, rapid-tap snares, and a cautionary hook with person-first anecdotal lyrics. With every song, listeners receive a fresh auditory experience that subverts the songs that came before but sustains a spiritual connection from track to track.
The album is available for download and streaming with all the major music marketplaces. Click here for a list of platforms.
When Invisible Inc. debuted with their eponymous album in 2007, the band consisted of members George Watsky, Daniel Riera, and Max Miller-Loran, a talented trio of San Francisco transplants living in Boston. With this new rebirth, the band returns to its San Francisco roots and adds the vocal talents of Adam Vida to the roster.
Vida’s fresh voice adds a steady, metronomic alternative to Watsky’s breakneck slam poetry-inspired rap stylings. The horns, strings, synths, samples, and drums that Riera and Miller-Loran have woven so effortlessly back up but refuse to take a backseat to Vida and Watsky’s mastery.
George Watsky, known commonly as Watsky, is arguably the band’s most notable member. The 31-year-old rapper rose to fame in the late 2000s as one of the hottest members of the slam poetry community, collecting several national awards for his heartfelt poetry and searing delivery. A viral YouTube video, Pale Kid Raps Fast, thrust Watsky further into the spotlight and kickstarted the artist’s successful rap career. Between 2009 and 2016, Watsky masterfully blended poetry and hip-hop on a series of mixtapes and original albums sprinkled amid a handful of increasingly-successful tours.
As Watsky enjoyed more success over his career, his lyrics maintained the heartfelt tug present in his early slam poetry, becoming more serious as the albums flowed from his pen. He had hinted during his wildly-popular x Infinity tour that he was considering moving away from his solo rap career to pursue other creative interests, a notion he confirmed with the release of his book, How to Ruin Everything.
If fans are looking for more Watsky in their life, Fine Print will not fail to satisfy that itch. However, fans expecting Fine Print to be the next x Infinity or Cardboard Castles should take note that this album is not a Watsky album. This is unequivocally, undeniably the renaissance of Invisible Inc.
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