Amos Miller — area eclecticist and frequent collaborator with such Town rap stalwarts as Gabriel Teodros and Macklemore — recently released a solo album called SuperSquare. It’s 22 tracks long, composed mostly of brief, interlude length songs that are each packed to the brim with musical ideas. SuperSquare plays like an aural sketchbook, pulled from the shelf of an artist with a far afield, wandering mind.
Hip-hop, folk, electronic, R&B, neo-soul — all of these genres play together beautifully on SuperSquare, albeit with a smart pop sensibility. Low-fi record scratches adorn one track, only to be supplanted seconds later by high-def synth and futuristic thump. And is that a processed didgeridoo on the tracks “Crystal” and “Conflict?”
A grip of collaborators including Jake One, Evan Flory-Barnes, Adra Boo, and Aaron Walker-Loud lend a communal feel to the record which, despite its tracks’ short attention spans, never feels rushed or scattered which is due to the tightly executed transitions between songs. “Ascent” is one of only two that extends beyond three minutes: sonar pings, laser gun synth, coasting jazz high hats, and what sounds like a live upright bass back Amos’s pitched raps that slide from visceral poetic ruminations on artistry, to lamenting the prison industrial complex.
SuperSquare keeps you in the listening moment by engaging your ears and mind with big concepts over short ranges of time; and as the songs fold into each other, your brain keeps working, imagining what might have come next.