Canadian artist/producer Chin’s debut album D’Tach has loads of potential, despite a minor plateau. Still, though, the album has a lot to offer. With a style of urban music that has become characteristically Canadian (what he calls, “Urban Folk”), Chin combines warm acoustic guitar with basic hip hop beats and raw vocals. He uses a variety of elements employed by artists that he’s worked with – both as a producer and a performer – like K’naan and Bedouin Soundclash.
This album is so easy on the ears that you often miss out on some great lyrics. If you aren’t interested in convoluted symbolism and empty metaphors, you’ll appreciate this album – Chin’s words, like his vocals, are raw and real.
The inspiration for D’tach is Chin’s emotional and musical detachment from the restrictions he began to feel as an artist and as a person. It’s this abandonment of fear that makes his lyrics so vulnerable.
The best tracks on the album, though, are the ones with featured artists. “Separated” is a soulful collaboration with Chin’s newest project, the New Royales. Singer Liz Rodrigues has a cool and sultry voice, and it blends well with Chin’s smooth vocals. Erik Alcock and DJ Khalil make up the remainder of the group. Khalil and Chin have collaborated both as artists and producers with world-renowned artists like Dr. Dre, Busta Rhymes, Drake, Nas, Talib Kweli and many more.
Chin has also worked with Toronto native K’naan, who is featured in the song “Mask on my Face” – a complete track, and one of the few on the album that embraces Chin’s hip hop roots.
The winner of a SOCAN and MuchMusic video award with the accolades of world-renowned producers, there is no question that Chin knows music. Unfortunately, his talent as an artist seems so deeply rooted in his overwhelming passion for music that it puts him out of touch with what works and what doesn’t. The album has touches of K-Os and Jason Mraz, but without the originality necessary to make his music memorable. Chin’s talent is real, and I recommend sitting back and listening to the album – but you won’t be listening to it next month.
TTT1/2 (Out of 5)
For more information on Chin check out www.myspace.com/chininjeti