Collective Efforts' Freezing World embodies a dark sound of the times drawn from the harsh social and economic realities of post-Bush America, but it's not a nose dive into political oblivion. Melancholy guides thick drums, samples and a lyrical flow that sidesteps petty complaints for a call to get back to the grind. "So Cold" and "Hour of Change" carry the brunt of the album with breakbeats and classic rap song form. "Crazy Things" picks up the pace, showing allegiances to the heady approach of Jurassic 5, A Tribe Called Quest and the Roots. The album is an hour-plus of beats and rhymes, which would be an obstacle if there weren't so many enchanting songs cropping up one after another, all penned by a group that's reaching for a higher level of self-reliance. 4 out of 5 stars.
Full disclosure: Collective Efforts' MC J-Mil is an art director at CL.