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Wax Tailor Hope and Sorrow

The French instrumental hip-hop virtuoso returns with a much sunnier outing than his previous brilliant work. It's better than the majority of instro-hop worldwide, but lighter on the cinematic feel and heavier on the collabs. Songbird Charlotte Savary shows up again on compelling tracks like "The Man With No Soul," "To Dry Up," and the rewarding finale "Alien in My Belly," as do rhymers The Others on "House of Wax." But it is the Dap Queen herself, Sharon Jones, who steals the spotlight on the disc's soulful opening salvo, "The Way We Lived." Poet Ursula Rucker bats cleanup on "We Be," but it continues to be Wax Tailor's impeccably timed instrumentals that hit the homeruns.

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