audio review : Innocence ( album ) … Kenny G

audio review : Innocence ( album ) ... Kenny G

An album of lullabies? Why not? It seems Kenny G stopped making regular (nonconceptual) albums years ago. Entering the genre of baby sleep music also serves as an unintentional quip at critics who complain that his music is boring. He should’ve used a different title though. Innocence brings to mind that song from The Moment.

There are only seven originals here. The rest are covers; the worst thing about the set. Mixing them, as opposed to just making a full-on cover album, is even more of a misstep. Still the project ultimately serves its purpose. I’d prefer a lead piano, even guitar, over a sax, but; screw the kids; it’s pleasant and serene enough to put me to sleep.

my rating : 3 of 5

2023

audio review : Ghetto Thang ( song ) … De La Soul

Ghetto Thang sounds damn good when the bass loop plays out in full with its accommodating whine synth. When it drops out, as during the title breaks, the quality plummets. The question is whether or not that happens often enough to ruin the song completely.

The refrain lasting just four bars as opposed to the usual eight, with one exception at the end, makes it more forgivable than it otherwise would’ve been. Still it’s an annoying distraction on a song the rappers (Trugoy/Posdnuos) should’ve rapped straight thru.

my rating : 3 of 5

1989

audio review : 3 Feet High And Rising ( album ) ... De La Soul

G Fuel Energy Drink : PewDiePie

G Fuel Energy Drink : PewDiePie

I don’t follow PewDiePie’s YouTube channel, so I don’t know if it makes sense for him to have his own beverage, but he is perhaps the most popular (video/computer) gamer in the world and Gaming is what the G in G Fuel stands for.

The picture on the can has him levitating what looks like a handful of cherries, which are included on the ingredients list, and that’s what this Energy Drink sort of tastes like, but they’re apparently supposed to be lingonberries.

my rating : 3 of 5

audio review : Rule Of Thumb [ Rule 1 ] ( album ) … E-40

This was supposed to be the sequel to Gift Of Gab, but, assuming the Rule 1 subtitle implies there’ll be a part 2, E-40 decided to save the title for a whole new series. Not that it matters much. These days his albums sound very much alike.

The rapper used to pen an array of vocal styles/flows, but now his Game is mostly generic. The same with these basic beats; Lovin Somebody, which sounds like an outtake from R Kelly’s Happy People set, being an obvious exception.

my rating : 3 of 5

2023

G Fuel Energy Drink : Hype Sauce

G Fuel Energy Drink : Hype Sauce

This Energy Drink; the G apparently stands for (computer/video) Gaming; is supposed to be based on raspberry lemonade, but you wouldn’t necessarily know by the taste. You certainly can’t tell by reading the can, which mentions neither flavor, though the ingredients list does include some interesting oddities like blueberry and broccoli.

my rating : 3 of 5

audio review : Taste Of Chocolate ( album ) … Big Daddy Kane

audio review : Taste Of Chocolate ( album ) ... Big Daddy Kane

Big Daddy starts the new (1990) decade with a Taste Of Chocolate; his third album in as many years. It’s Hard Being The Kane, he claims, as if having “girls in more areas than a Sky Pager” is a lifestyle most guys can sympathize with. Mr Pitiful is his response to Biz Markie’s Vapors.

The raps are smooth, often clever and occasionally brilliant. At one point he speaks of a kid who “smelled like he washed in Oil Of Oh Shit.” The beats are funky. The songs falter mainly at the breaks where, for some unknown reason, guest Barry White never actually sings.

my rating : 3 of 5

1990

video review : Robin’s Wish

video review : Robin's Wish

I don’t think Robin Williams, despite being a comedy icon, was funny in the least, so the worst parts of this documentary for me are the career highlights; clips from his shows, movies and interviews. It gets interesting when it delves into the details of the underlining theme; the Lewy body dementia that ultimately led to his suicide; via anecdotal accounts from his wife and friends.

my rating : 3 of 5

2020

audio review : Looks Like A Job For ( album ) … Big Daddy Kane

audio review : Looks Like A Job For ( album ) ... Big Daddy Kane

The Prince Of Darkness seduced the ladies on his previous album. This one is for waxing the ass of competitive rappers. “I’m making the nonbelievers believe what I’m dishing up,” he proclaims, sometimes straddling the line between clever and corny, “and people that’s still fans will be air conditioners.”

The best songs are the first two and last two, or last two before the Nuff Respect bonus Remix, along with the sole romancer; a Very Special duet with Salt N Pepa’s DJ Spinderella. Stop Shammin, the beat of which is produced by Easy Mo Bee, is another highlight, though the breaks get clamored with noisy samples.

my rating : 3 of 5

1993

audio review : TP3 [ Reloaded ] … R Kelly

audio review : TP3 [ Reloaded ] ... R Kelly

TP doesn’t really stand for 12 Play anymore. The charm of the original album is that there are only 12 songs. This one has 19, or 15 if you don’t count the Trapped In The Closet sequels. The inclusion of five Chapters instead of limiting it to one song, or perhaps hiding the set as bonus tracks, makes for an incredibly awkward playlist.

After being Saved by Jesus and doing a club dance called the backslide, R Kelly is nonetheless Reloaded. He’s Kickin It With Your Girlfriend, Touchin on her body, about to Hit It Til The Mornin. This is the worst TP in the trilogy, thanks in part to that messy Closet, but at least it sticks to raunchy romance, which fits the theme.

my rating : 3 of 5

2005

audio review : Burning ( album ) … Deep Forest

audio review : Burning ( album ) ... Deep Forest

It would make more sense for the concept if Burning Sun and Sunriser were switched around, but at least they have proper titles. Most of the others; not the songs but their titles; sound like they’re still in the demo stage. It’s also odd how the album starts with the longest songs, leaving what’s supposed to be the second half considerably shorter than the first.

Technical gripes aside, there is decent music to be heard. Deep Forest; now a pseudonym for Éric Mouquet; may no longer hold the mystique of its 1990s heyday, but this project fares well enough. Nothing matches Sweet Lullaby or Lament; the vocals here are limited to short bits; but Allison is pretty and Who Did That has the potential to be a (dance) club favorite.

my rating : 3 of 5

2023

Monster Energy : Ultra Gold

Monster Energy : Ultra Gold

The Gold color, Greek design and stony texture; you can actually feel it; give the can a premium, almost epic feel. This drink is based on the mythical “nectar of ambrosia” with “the heavenly fresh flavor of biting into” a “perfectly ripened golden pineapple”. Those last bits are, of course, silly promotional hyperbole.

my rating : 3 of 5