Dylan Owen

Senioritis by Dylan Owen (Self-released CD)

Dylan Owen is an 18-year-old up-and-coming hip-hop artist from Orange County, NY who has experienced a pretty exciting year.  He’s opened for Asher Roth several months ago and recently performed a well-received set at the famed Bamboozle Festival in New Jersey. After two promising EP’s, Owen has released a full length effort entitled Senioritis – and one could easily call this a promise thoroughly fulfilled. Fans of Sage Francis and the aforementioned Asher Roth should really enjoy the depth and honesty found within the 13 noteworthy tracks on Senioritis.

An album documenting the final year of High School and moving on to an uncertain future without looking back, Senioritis is sure to hit an emotional chord with music fans from all walks of life. The disc opens with Book Report, a compelling introduction into the world of Dylan Owen that should instantly reel the listener in with its stark honesty. “We’re the suicide kids, we only think about ourselves,” rap Owen in the song, recalling tumultuous times of the past and looking to the future with cautious optimism.

Postcards is up next –a wonderfully catchy tune that has a good deal of hit single potential. On this song, songwriter Jesse Denaro joins Owen, and they make for a winning combination of rap and smooth yet stylish vocals.

Old Armor is sentimental and introspective, featuring the telling lyrics “My heart is as big as an elephant knocking at your door, but I don’t knock there anymore.”

A highlight on Senioritis is definitely the emotionally driven Garden Of The Gods, a powerful cut guaranteed to move even the most cynical. “I will take you home like a designated driver,” raps Owen in the most poignant track on the CD.

There is also a good deal of fun to be had on the disc, as the rambunctious Spirit Week is a “drinking song” that would surely liven up any party. This track features scratches by DJ Prime, who has worked with talents such as Asher Roth, 3oh3!, and LMFAO.

In It For The Love is hip-hop near the level of Eminen, with Owen combining forces with Rhode Island rap artist Symmetry, coming up with one of the most groovin’ tracks on the album.

The ironically titled Kiss My Ass Goodbye is another thrilling collaborating – an attitude-driven composition featuring a magnetic guest appearance by Mac Lethal – who is the co-founder of Black Clover Records. Best Things is a top cut. featuring a guest appearance by A-Game, another talented East Coast rapper well worth checking into.

The last two songs I’m Still Spinning and the title track sum up Senioritis on an introspective note, saluting the past as well as the “roads that we’ll soon be takin’ with a robust sense of anticipation. Owen will certainly find himself “Moving on to bigger and better things” – and Senioritis is an inspired documentation of a magical time in the life of a gifted indie rapper whose brilliant career is all but guaranteed.

Album credits you should know: The beats were mostly made by Nico Marchese from Goshen NY, excluding two by Devin Arne (a long time collaborator with Dylan Owen), one by Son Sound, and one by Mac Lethal. The album was entirely engineered by Devin Arne in Miami, Florida. It was mastered entirely by Frank Turbe in LA. Highly recommended!

(Review by Kenneth Morton)

Dylan Owen on Myspace

Dylan Owen Official Website

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