Saturday, February 27, 2010
Little Brother 'LeftBack' Advance Album Preview
via Planet Ill
A well flipped usage of James Brown’s “Big Payback” buffered by ambient chants and ill rhymes. Standard fare, but executed well.
So Cold Featuring Chaundon Prod. by King Karnov
Bottom heavy beat with the crooner on the hook doign their best D’Angelo impression (not sure if it’s Phonte singing). Phonte runs the middle leg of this track with malice intended; crisp delivery and lines that make yourburrow your eyebrows and bob your head. Guest emcee Chaundon brings a flare to the cleanup slot with a bit less laser sharpness but much more energy. The bridge is well places and while synths give the beat rhythm, the bottom heavy bass rules here.
Second Chances Feat. Bilal & Darien Brockington (Prod. By Denaun Porter)
Dithering keys and a slithering bassline allow Bilal to bring his trademarked neurosis to full tilt. The music on this song is beautifully arranged and Bilal takes it to the bridge and jumps off. The interplay between the rapped verses and the sang chorus on the last stanza weave in and out like red and blue Tron cycles racing each other. Flawlessly finished.
Go Off Go On
The chorus on this is very weak but the track is notable because Big Pooh really spazzes out on it. It’s a bit too similar to the previous song in tone but pales in quality.
What We Are Feat. Quiana
A relationship song (one of many). It’s not syrupy by any means and is well put together. the song deals with what happens when you hook up but you realize the relationship isn’t going anywhere.
After The Party
Piano key opening and a semi comedic internal monologue from Phonte showcases his range, humor, and personality. The track runs on a well balanced thump, with beat and rhyme fusing nicely.
2 Step Blues
Picks up the pace of the album with lively vocals. It’s really “Just Got Paid” 2.0 in function. Nice horn solo and piano keys close the song out nicely.
Towering aggressive drums push the momentum of this song. Phonte comes out swinging on all sucker emcees but Big Pooh steals the show on this Khrysis-produced banger.
24 Feat Torae
Torae muscles this high-powered song from inception, changing the energy/pace of the entire album. Everyone in the room looks up as soon as this track begins. His aggression immediately stands out and forces Pooh and Phonte to raise their energy level above what they have shown on the rest of the album. This song would have done better in the middle of the album, serving to break up the monotony of a few too any similar in feel songs.
This album has a strange energy to it. There are some extremely high musical highs, in particular ‘24″ and “Second Chances,” which surpass much if not most of their previous material. However there are a few too many songs that remind you of each other, in either spirit or theme, without really placing an overall theme or narrative on the album. Arrangement wise, most of these songs are places together. It’s not their worst overall work, but as a unit it doesn’t surpass The Listening or The Chitlin Circuit 1.5. What it does do is make you wish they could have toughed it out for a really focused album with the best elements showcased on Left Back. These are two talented rappers who are as good as their production and focus allow them to be.