Love the tracks Mad World and BlackRain. Rest of the album doesn't do much for me. But yeah, those two tracks is more than I get out of most albums.
I'm gonna admit something here, I have a nasty tendency to listen to an album and then forget about it forever. I think most of us do this to some extent, we champion an album for a while, then totally forget it when something new comes along. And I'm going to admit that while I love Tab's work, I had totally forgotten about his albums. I had gone on to working on my own stuff and was listening to my peer's music. So just a few hours ago, BlackRain popped up on a shuffle mix that I had on my mp3 player and at first I was all "Holy shit, who is this?" Then I checked and saw it was Tab, so I immediately went and listened to Poet in the Dark all over again. And I have to say that not only does Tab have quite the staying power, but Poet in the Dark has aged like wine. I remembered a really good album waaay back when I listened to it in 2010. And now in 2011, I have just listened to a motherfucking classic album. I know comparisons are odious, and Tab really is in a class of his own, but for those who haven't had the pleasure to listen to him, think Sage Francis, Atmosphere, or POS, except more intense and personal. Tab's lyrics are what really make this album shine. Songs like Late in the Evening, Boy Meets World, I Love You, BlackRain, White Flag, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Mary Jane and Mad World are some of the major stand-outs. The music is also top notch, the acoustic guitars are the major standouts here. They form a bed for the beats and the rest of the music. I have to also say that Tab has a really fine singing voice, and he doesn't beat us over the head with the fact that he can sing, unlike many rappers who can. And he doesn't use Autotune, which is quite refreshing and really doesn't fit his style anyway. I'd actually say that some off-key singing might actually enhance the rawness of his music. But that's the thing, Tab doesn't seem to be obsessed with stuff like that, he seems content to just say things like they are and leave it at that. He doesn't obsess over how hard he is, he doesn't have any brag rap tracks(which he most certainly has the right to, the man is fucking gifted), and he isn't overtly obsessed with image. And in hip-hop, that is a rarity. Now, I know that in the album description, a music blog says that they really couldn't find a favorite track, but for me the real stand-up track is BlackRain is the standout track. Most people would be happy with such intense ending tracks as Mad World, Mary Jane, and Confessions of a dead poet, but at the end of the rather emotionally raw hip-hop journey, up pops BlackRain. The song that disarms you with it's softness and then floors you. It's the perfect chaser for Mad World(which is at once a cover and original song). Poet in The Dark never lets up once in it's relentlessly poetic and personal assault. All of these songs are like the best part of an album, in fact I almost thought this was some sort of "Best Of" mix. If I could make another comparison, I'd compare this to Johnny Cash's Best Of album, with BlackRain being the "Hurt" elbow to the chest at the end. Except unlike Cash, Tab directly confronts his demons. I could go on and on about how amazing this album is, but that would be boring. So I'll just end by saying that unlike some Jamendo artists, Tab has staying power. And if by the end of his career(which I hope he is far from) he isn't considered a classic when it comes to East Coast Hip-Hop, I'll eat my fucking hat.