9. CunninLynguists - A Piece Of Strange
A fantastic group with a terrible name, CunninLynguists’ third album is a biblical tale of good and evil with some of the finest production of the ‘00s, handled by rapper Kno. It’s a lush record full of soulful vocals and analogue sounds that make it stand out massively from other albums of its era.
A Piece Of Strange takes listeners on a moral journey - a descent into wrongdoing, the threat of hell, and ultimately redemption. Early highlight “Caved In” serves as a warning to a world in decline, but by the centrepiece, “America Loves Gangsters”, it’s too late. A particularly smart take on the hypocrisy of a world that simultaneously venerates and criticises the criminal lifestyle, it takes aim at the media, the government, policing and gang culture in quick succession.
Consequences follow on “Hellfire”, a heavy, Arthur Brown-sampling track that details the aftermath of a life ill-spent. We end on a positive night, though, with “The Light”, a track that manages to promote righteousness without coming across the least bit preachy.