Oneirology is the study of dreams. The Cunninlynguists made this album no different. The progression is laid out like a dream, from the first track “Predormitum” (falling asleep) to “Hypnopomp” (waking up) and the last song “Embers”, representing recalling one’s dream.
While reminiscent of the Cunninlynguists’ last two releases, “Oneirology” is distinct. Conceptually, it is very different than their previous albums. It portrays a mass dream of humanity, projecting what the Cunninlynguists believe is important, through symbol and allusion. This is very refreshing, as many artists explore new avenues they seem to loose touch. However the Cunninlynguists carry on the consistency of already amazing work, even with new flavor.
The instrumentals for “Oneirology” are razor sharp. While they’re original, the samples are apt to induce nostalgia. Not over produced with a lot of bells and whistles, but every little sound bite and effect moves cogs in ones mind. Some of the most effective being the vocal samples in “Get Ignorant”. However those in “Murder” and “My Habit” are almost equally as stirring.
Most of the lyrics deliver an upper-cut of a punchline every other bar. Which becomes obvious after listening to “Predormitum”. As the first song it sets the tone of lyrical crescendo that permeates the rest of the album. The order of songs is keenly organized, drawing you in more and more until the very last one. “Darkness” being one of the most powerful tunes, is second. Leaving you defenseless against the need to listen to the rest of the album. Anna Wise’s feature on that song was not only soulful but necessary. As well as lacking any pretension that’s found in a lot of cross genre collaborations (at least ones contrived for commercial success). However, neglecting to mention Bianca Floyd’s oration in “Hypnopomp”, would be criminal. Her mix of stirring words and stern voice is incredibly moving. This isn’t to say the other artists featured aren’t worth mentioning but those two are exceptional.
To say this “Oneirology” is an alright album would be an understatement. Perhaps if you want to hear something like “Will Rap for Food” you’ll be slightly confused but not disappointed. The thoughtfulness, and the Cunninlynguists’ sense not to stray too far from what they know will please old and new fans alike.