Monday, September 24, 2007

What’s New In Dart’s iPod # 8 AKA Songs By And About Girls

Hey fam! I will review three more albums today, Will.i.am’s “Songs About Girls”, Median’s “Median’s Relief” and R&B vocalist Chrisette Michelle’s “I Am”. Before I get started with the reviews first let’s take a look at my patented three point “Cop It Or Not” ratings system below:


Oh No! This CD is a drink coaster/table balancer/doorstop/gerbil/hamster room divider/frisbee/discus/makeshift shield/last ditch choice for a visor/alternate shuriken choice. Sell this shit to whoever is dumb enough to buy it from you.

Maebe (Maybe)! Depending on your own set of personal preferences you might like this joint. Give it a listen first to see if it's in your lane or not.

Mos Def! Cop the album when it drops...'Nuff said.

Some often ask “How can this n*gga molest the English alphabet in 100 words or less?” It’s not the Chronic, it’s all in the mind like Johnny Mneumonic © Ras Kass

Let’s start with Will.i.am's new album. Some of us know him as the cat from Atban Klann, other know him from back when the Black Eyed Peas were still an underground group (they still had a vocalist, though!), others didn’t pay attention until Fergie joined the group and they made the godawful song “Where Is The Love?” and everyone finally noticed that Will Adams (No, we ain't related. Just for the record I'm not related to Akinyele, either) wore calf high bright yellow socks and dressed like he was about to play croquet somewhere...if they’d been paying attention they’d have known he’s been dressing that way since 1998. The Black Eyed Peas sold a shitload of records and Will.i.am was an in demand producer, writer and arranger. Even though he came up as a battle emcee, B Boy, producer and a musician he’s been unfairly pigeonholed as “the yellow socks nigga” or a sellout. Others simply don't like him for different reasons. They are all valid arguments. Enough talk already, just play the damn record!

The album opens with “Over”, clearly the song about the end of a relationship. The arrangement of the instruments on this track is crazy. I’m not expecting Will to spit anything too fantastic on this project (if you’ve ever heard his BBE project or “Must B 21 Or Over” you’d know what I mean” so I’m going off the beat and how well he stays out of it’s way. He may sing a lot on this project...uh oh! The opening song is cool. The next track “Heartbreaker” sounds like “Sexy Back 2” which I thought was “The Way I Are”. I really hope Justin and Timbo got credited in the liner notes for that one. The lead single “I Got From My Mama” was clearly made for Fergie but Will throws another chick on there and it sounds dope. The breakdowns and arrangements are bananas. “She A Star” is okay but I was put off a little by Will.i.am gettin’ his Akon on a lil’ too much. Next up is “Get Your Money”, an ode to strippers...I’m not feeling this one at all.

“The Donque Song” wastes Snoop Dogg. This shit shouldn’t have even made the album. “Impatient” was okay but it sounded like a Todd Terry House track from 1989. “One More Chance” pretty much sucks...I heard it’s the next single, too. Not looking good so far. “Invisible” gets the album back on track but Will seems to be channeling K-Os on this track more than anything. “Fantastic” is just an okay joint..I guess Will has given up rhyming on the album as well by now. “Fly Girl” turns out to knock and is easily the best song on this album next to the lead single...that ain’t good.

The “Dynamic Interlude” is cool and “Ain’t It Pretty” is a fly song that Will.i.am decides to become T-Pain on. “Make It Funky” is a banger that sounds like it was a collabo with either Bassment Jaxx or Daft Punk (yeah, I listen to that shit, too!). It was clearly made for Fergie but it dope. The album closes with “S.O.S. (Mother Nature)”, this is a good song but Will once again got his K-Os on with this one...it sounded like it was off of his “Exit” LP.

In conclusion, this album was just OK to me. I could’ve done without 1/3rd of this album easily. He should have rhymed more and had more guest appearances to spit verses. This album won’t be knocking any of the albums I currently have in my iPod out but it doesn’t suck. I give Mr. Yellow Socks a maybe.



Next up to bat is Justus League member Median’s latest offering “Median’s Relief”. I expect some soulful, mellow, laidback and introspective tracks on this project. Let’s press play on the iTunes and hear it. The project open’s with the smooth “Love Again”...hold up. Is this album gonna be a bunch of songs about girls, too? “Smile” suggests that it might be. This song is fly, though. “Collage” is dope as well. “Personified” is another fly joint. So far the songs are about everyday life, not a lot of battle rhymes or punchlines. Not one death threat has been made and no crack has been slung. Not one gun has gone off. The next track “Rize” is a great listen as is “What Would You Do?” which put the listener in different situations. I’ve been nodding my head and no one has referenced their ice or their rims. He hasn't even disrespected any women! Doesn’t he know this is supposed to be a rap album?

As I listen to tracks like “Powershift” and relax into a mellow state I realize why the Justus League are so popular. This reminds me of that old Hip Hop I used to rock to. I just need a banger or two, though. The next two songs are story joints. While they are both enjoyable listens, one clocks in at 5:08 and the other at 5:51. I love good music but damn! “Choices” is another ill Justus League track featuring Chaundon and Joe Scudda on guest verses. “How Big Is Your World?” is another winner. “Strides” is nice as well. I could just let this joint rock and do whatever to it. “Pardon Me Dude” is another headnooder. “2 Side Coin Rmx” runs too long at 5:42, even with the guest verses. “Personified Super Charged Rmx” is cool but I like the original beat better. The album ends with another dope track in “Comfortable”.

There wasn’t one throwaway track on the entire album. I could let this whole album play from beginning to end without event thinking of skipping a track (even though some ran long). This is another dope effort from the Justus League and the production on the album was tight from beginning to end. Median is far from wack on the mic but I don’t have any standout verses or quotables from him. I have to give this album a mos def because it doesn’t have any major flaws.



Last but not least, we have the album from Def Jam’s much heralded vocalist Chrisette Michelle. She’s sung on several Def Jam artists projects in the past and heads have been waiting on her album for quite a while now. It’s finally here (where’s the promotion, though?). Let’s hear it.

Chrisette’s voice is crazy. The opening track “Like A Dream” is fly joint that makes me miss singers like Adrianna Evans. “Work It Out” is dope as well. By the time we get to “If I Have My Way” it’s clear that Chrisette Michelle grew up listening to Whitney Houston, Anita Bkaer, Caron Wheeler, Phyllis Hyman, Vesta and all of the other great female vocalists of the late 80’s and early 90’s. It’s refreshing to hear someone that can SANG rather then barely carry a note but look good in a video (Rihanna! Cassie! I'm looking at you both...and now I'm imaging y'all both butt naked in a hot tub.). On “Best Of Me” she sings more subdued over a stripped down guitar track and “Your Joy” features Chrisette doing her thing and sounding like a classic R&B joint from the mid 90’s.

“Good Girl” has Chrisette killing it over an ill beat and Mr. Yellow Socks himself delivers her another banger and spits a guest verse on “Be OK”. “Mr. Radio” is another nice track. After “Golden” I begin worrying that this album is going to go unnoticed by the buying public at large...I honestly don’t know if it dropped on the 11th or the 18th or not. Def Jam can't promote shit unless it’s Jay-Z or Nas' album...I know THOSE release dates already! “Let’s Rock” is bananas, by the way and then she switches up her vocal style and sings sweetly over a piano track on “Love Is You”.

“In This For You” and “Is This The” are both sick. I even liked the bonus track. In conclusion, if you are a fan of R&B cop this album. You should have this and Keyshia Cole in rotation at the same time. “I Am” get a mos def from me.



I also wanna say thanks for the memories to my boy Eric whose sadly closing down shop @ When They Reminisce. Thanks for forcing me to step it up on a weekly basis because you blew me out of the water on many an occasion.Good look with all your future endeavors and God bless your family. I reminisce, I reminisce ! *Horn riff plays*

I gotta be thousand ! © Casual

One.

2 comments:

Zilla Rocca said...

Thanks for the link to my will.i.am rant. Just from reading your review, it's clear that will thrives in hoping most American haven't heard of K-Os so that he is free to do the bohemian/singer-songwriter/hip hopping/b-boy schtick to much success.

I was never a big Justus League fan but I'm gonna check out Median's record based on your recommendation.

And Chrisette Michele is built like a fireplug. She's a good singer too.

Anonymous said...

Yo Dart, I have a request. I was wanting to know all of the hiphop albums that were released in 1993. I can't recall all or even half of them, but I kept thinking that maybe you would know the answer to this. I was just listening to "Enta Da Stage" by Black Moon and I didn't realize it popped out in '93 'cause I didn't buy it when it first came out. I had picked up "Midnight Marauders" and "36 Chambers" by Wu-Tang. I know there was other ill stuff to get and I'm just wondering who dropped something that year. I think "Buhloone Mindstate" came out then as well. '93 was brutal on your bank account if you tried to collect all the treats that came out that year. If you decide to blog on that sometime, it would be excellent. Great blog, keep it moving.

ill_chemist@hotmail.com