Illy’s fourth album Cinematic shows the Melbourne MC progressively grown as a rapper and sharpening his songwriting, backed by an epic soundtrack from M-Phazes who produces 10 of the album’s 13 songs. Highlights include single Youngbloods, a booming cover of Queensland hardcore act The Amity Affliction’s song featuring vocalist Ahren Stringer; and Tightrope – a triple j favourite in-the-making with a driving, pop-tinged M-Phazes beat and a ridiculously catchy hook courtesy of singer Kristina Miltiadou. Illy has some great rapping-for-the-sake-of-rapping collaborations with the Hilltop Hoods on Come Down (featuring a banger of a beat from upcoming producer Cam Bluff) and Drapht on YoYo. On the other side of the coin, he takes on his critics with the inspiring Talk and delivers a moving tribute to his mum and her battle with cancer on Am Yours. Cinematic is bookended by celebratory tracks with Opening Night kicking off the album and the penultimate title song – both larger-than-life tunes reflecting on Illy’s career. In the liner notes, Illy describes Cinematic as his “best whole album to date”, which is hard to argue with.


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