“Moonbase : SVG” is a concept album produced by Boston-based producer SV and a St.Louis based rapper Gage. This fourteen track album is a linear narrative where the duo ascends from a dystopia into a utopia to find out that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Moonbase: SVG felt like a project that I needed to hear after everything that has gone wrong this year. It provides a sense of wonder, escapism, and sci-fi storytelling over masterful spacey production and the distinct tangy rapping.

The strongest point of the album is its self-contained narrative. None of the fourteen tracks waste any time in giving us bits and pieces of the story with action-packed sequences, catchy hooks, and strong pacing. I felt fully immersed as I heard “Earth Doo Doo” explaining a dystopian society’s struggles all too well. Gage flows over the beat as he raps about being tired of Earth and looking up at a new possibility. He decides to take his chances, together with SV, and leave Earth for Moon City. The first act does a fantastic job in contextualizing the immediacy and the necessity of their situation. There is a lot of variety within the production as well. “Space Trainers” is laced with futuristic synths, while “Don’t Make Me Wait” has a rich feature from Antonia Marquee. All this hype and buildup pays off in the second act of the album, which kicks off with ‘Spacewalk’.

‘Spacewalk’ introduces us to the world-building talents of SV & Gage. They are talking about spacewalking, moon-cartels, and the concept of finally being free. They realize their place among the stars and before long approach Moon City in the track’ Moon City’. The idea of identity takes center stage as the duo shed off their earthly attire and assume new identities of Moon men. Throughout the second act, they are enjoying their newfound life, sipping moonjuice, and having parties. The storytelling was at its peak during the second and third acts of this album. I felt as if the narrative grasped me tightly, and I could almost imagine all of it playing out in my head. ‘Moonbase: SVG’ delivered a utopian atmosphere. I felt that the instrumentals were a little laidback here as the storytelling took the spotlight. I didn’t mind it as I was enjoying the lyricism and wordplay throughout. Gage has a gift for using diverse words and throwing around relatable sci-fi terminology to enrich his tracks.

The third act was when the story became tense. ‘Don’t Fall in Love’ was where their newfound life started breaking apart, and the illusion of Mooncity lost its appeal. ‘Mutiny in Space’ and ‘Calliopes Last Ride’ were standout tracks, especially with their spacey instrumentals and crucial plot points. I found myself rooting for the duo as they made their way back, and I was equally frustrated when the album ended on a cliffhanger.

All in all, as a conceptual album, Moonbase: SVG ultimately delivers. Although it doesn’t have the fanciest beats or the flashiest bars, it shines as a cohesive whole. Many albums on the market cannot deliver narratives and themes half as ambitious as this album. I highly encourage everyone to give this a listen!

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