Dynamics Plus presents his latest musical release Dynamic Universe Volume 9: Rocket Science in conjunction with the web series/comic book Mark of the Griffin.
This is going to be 2 part review so that I can focus on the music and the visual elements of the Dynamics Universe separately. As this is a music blog, let's first talk about the music. Dynamics Universe Volume 9: Rocket Science is a futuristic hip-hop project with numerous nerd references. The title for the album Rocket Science is fitting. At first, you'd think this name seems a bit derogatory as the normal colloquialism associated with the term "rocket science" is to indicate that something is easy, a la "it's not rocket science." But it's clear that this production is both complex and thoughtful and thus why Dynamics Plus used the term for the album. The first few tracks start out a bit too aggressively for my taste. But once "A Perfect Night A Perfect World" kicked in, I was into this album. Rocket Science has a strong focus on lyricism almost to a fault. As a result of the focus on verses, we don't hear a lot of "hooks" on any of these tracks. There's always a chorus or a refrain of some sort, but I never feel like these resonate and thus they don't embody the true essence of a hook. "Plenty to Say" is an exception with a soulful and sultry female vocal on the track for a true chorus. Dynamics Plus' lyrics are dense, thoughtful and very narrative. Natural storytelling is a big part of the entire composition of Rocket Science. The casual listener may have a hard time getting into these tracks on the first listen. As a result, I focused on the beats and was pleasantly surprised again and again by this album. The beats range anywhere from dance floor electronic to soulful, funky hip-hop. The hip-hop elements of this album are what really draw me in. The last third of the album, starting with "Taxi All is Fair" really has the sound that hooked me on Rocket Science. I fully enjoyed this album for the depth of the narrative, the variety of musical influence, and the technical prowess of Dyanmics Plus' lyricism. Dynamics Universe Volume 9: Rocket Science is available for purchase through the Dynamic Universe website: http://www.thedynamicuniverse.com as well as iTunes and all major digital music retailers.
On top of this album, I also had the chance to read a comic book from The Dynamic Universe collective, Mark of the Griffin issue #1 written by Drew Spence. This story is presented in a web series as well. After viewing the web series and reading issue #1 of Mark of The Griffin, I have to say that the web series is a far superior presentation of this story. The story overall is very well written and captivating, and the one major plus that the comic has over the web series is that as a reader you can consume the narrative with the aid of your own imagination. Reading the prose, which is basically an internal monologue, has a certain effect that you just can't get from watching the web series. The major failing of the comic is the art style. The comic is composed of actual shots from the web series that have some sort of Photoshop effect applied to them. As a comic book nerd, I just couldn't get into this style. I applaud the creators for taking an unorthodox approach and really investing in a multi-media platform for their storytelling, but the comic just doesn't work for me. By comparison, the web series still carries the gravitas of the prose and the production value is just much, much higher. The story basically revolves around one man, Marcus Griffin, as he undertakes a high-stakes heist and has flashbacks along the way to his very first kills. It's a captivating story and well told. If you are interested in viewing it yourself, I would recommend the web series. It is truly quite good. Check the links below.
Mark of the Griffin Issue #1
Mark of the Griffin Webseries: