Sunday, December 6, 2009

CD Review: Wale's Attention Deficit: His So So Flow's Unremarkable

 Wale's Attention Deficit:  I had an Attention Deficit while listening to it.

The production is sick.  This album is not good (though there are some bright spots, i.e.
"90210", "Shades", and "World Tour") because the production is sick but waaaaayyyyy too often Wale just misses the mark on lyrics.  There are far too few punchlines and, while the flow is rhythmic, it's not saying much in a way that makes you want to listen.  Grade:  No good.

A brassy beat which opens the album in a strong way but Wale doesn’t do the same.  His flow seems at this point mediocre.  His punch lines are too weak and too few and far between at this point.  While the flow itself is rhythmic, there is little to nothing else.  Grade:  Passable.

Mama Told Me
While Best Kept Secret drops a hot beat, and Wale again  has some notable lines his non-crisp delivery (a delivery where one does not enunciate clearly) does not allow for appreciation of all of his lyrics.  But Wale does us a favor on this track, which is iPod enabled (should be on one’s iPod).  He stays out of the beats way.  The beat is so fresh, and Wale doesn’t screw it up.  Thanks Best Kept Secret (producer).  Grade:  Good.

A song about interpersonal deception, Wale presents a once again respectable flow.  But it just isn’t special.  Bun B outshines Wale on this track.  Producer Mark Ronson does decent work but the track isn’t particularly notable.  Bun B’s verse doesn’t stop time but there are lessons to be learned from it.  It is focused on the topic at hand and the verse is crisp.  Grade:  Decent.

Pretty Girls
Follows the Wale formula.  Mediocre flow but doesn’t get in the way.  Great beat.  Best Kept Secret shines once again.  Grade:  Good.

World Tour
While Cool and Dre deliver on a hot club track with Jazmine Sullivan doing her thing very hard, sounding like a young MJB.  But Wale does his usual with too few punchline, an unclear flow, and a general incoherence.  Grade:  Good (but only because of JS and Cool and Dre.   Wale just stays out of the way.)

Let It Loose
The Neptunes let loose one of their clearly underperforming tracks.  It’s supposed to be a track for the ladies but it just is overall weak.  The beat isn’t terrible but it’s not terribly good either.  Wale does his normal decent flow, weak content thing.  Grade:  Passable.

This song is an exception to the entire CD, thus far.  A song about an LA girl caught up in the LA lifestyle, this song is great.  The beat is solid and Mark Ronson does a great job here.  But more so, Wale makes something out of it.  His verses are very focused and the hook doesn’t try.  The slower tempo allows for him to enunciate his words more therefore allowing each line to be delivered as a punch line in and of itself.  He should look at this song and recreate the techniques used on other songs, and find a way to deliver the same precision on faster tracks.  Grade:  Nice.

Wale shines on this track about the intra-racial politics.  His verses are audible and on point.  Though he does begin to waver in the last verse he can’t be faulted.  He takes a decent beat, by Best Kept Secret, and shines it up.  Grade:  Nice.

Lady Gaga features on this song and does a good job, singing a monotone hook, a club song for the ladies.  The beat is a club banger but Wale does his usual with a cut-under-the-best flow.  Cool and Dre represent producing solid club fare.  Grade:  Decent.

TV in the Radio
David Andrew produces an old school beat in a new wave way.  But for some reason it’s not a good thing here.  Wale does his normal thing.  He has some some great lines every once in a while, i.e. “Phat lines all the time.  They be Roseanne Bars.”  K’Naan is nice.  While his flow is out of step in general, the abundance of punchlines means something.  He pushes the song to … Grade:  Respectable.

An introspective song questioning his own personal motives.  But it’s not very good.  Grade:  Not good.

Slow and introspective.  Sounds very similar to “Contemplate,” not in lyrics but in feel.  In general boring.  Grade:  Not good.

Wale’s usual m.o.  A cut under flow and … read the rest of the posts.  Subpar lyrics and solid beat.  Grade:  Tired.  Tired of good beats with Wale.

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