From the first track you know you’ve got something special. The juxtaposition of a rapper with a solid Southern flow with a British rapper whose accented flow rival Eminem’s Midwestern accent in terms of aural intrigue combined with a laidback rowboat flow. Whiile the singer of the hook could use a little variety in her intonation, it would’ve made this track truly special, the combination of the enjoyment the singers have for the track and the combination of a variety of flows brings a smile to my soul. Grade: Substantial.
I’m angry at the Lynguists here. Just recording ABC. The production value of the recording of the vocals leaves a lot to be desired. Lyrics are what propelled hip-hop into success and the lack of attention to this detail and to put it on an album is absurd. That being said, the energy of the crowd loving the music helps the cause. But what actually allows the to go over the top is the production. This album in back to back examples has represented hard in production value as far as the beats go. I’ve never even dreamed of hearing of a producer named Nenne Zetterberg, but someone should be writing this guy/girl checks, big ones. The pied-piper Euro-lighthearted yet sophisticated beat leaves nothing to be desired. It’s like a gourmet meal for a man used to eating southern food. But you’re strangely amazed that you’re full. Despite it’s shortfalls … Grade: Significant.
A theme is emerging. Great production, simply okay lyrics. A track about getting high on pot brownies (Snoozefest anyone?). The production saves the track and the lyrics don’t ruin them. A problem. Lyrics must enhance the song and interpret the beat. To quote a Clue track, “I ain’t crazy. I just do what the beat say do.” While their lyrics aren’t contrary to the beat they leave you wanting for more. Like a girl whose great boyfriend regularly manages to underperform behind closed doors, eventually frustration sets in. Grade: Another Passable … aka, not good enough.
A sad and introspective track with a very interesting Shining-esque looped hook. As an aside, the liner notes are sadly sparse, depriving the listener of the chance to understand where these tracks come from. BUT, this track is strong. The lyricst (who it is not obvious) is speaking from experience. He talks about his heart being gelded and yet he is still attempting to find love. The lyrics go astray once notably, throwing a diss in which is out of place, but the lyrics are delivered with real emotion and are well written due to their vast introspection and vulnerability. Grade: Stand Out.
This album has a lot of weak points. The regular faulty lyricism is one of them, however the special guests pick up a lot of slack and on a few occasions the Cunninglynguists themselves are lyrically, not acclaimed, but on point, on one occasion so much so that it is noteworthy. However, the production of the tracks is superior. The consistency of well done production is just correct. Combine this with the noteworthy appearances (not in name but in lyrical content), it leads to the conclusion that this is a album that is decent. It is an album that is a guidepost and will lead you not only to other artists to buy their albums, i.e. Atmosphere, Young Chu, Looptroop Rockers, Hilltop Hoods, Substantial, etc., but it also will give a producer an idea of what can be made out of non-super expensive samples and sheer creativity. For that reason, and not the lyrical acclaim of the namesakes, I’m placing this album at a Buy.