Thursday, October 21, 2004

Ludacris - "Get Back"
First single off Red Light District. Luda's first bunch of hits and guest appearances were so strong that I find it hard to shake my impression of him as a solid singles artist, despite the fact that I like less and less of his hits every year (I know a lot of people liked "Rollout" but for me that was the first big disappointment). I think it's only gotten really bad since "Move Bitch", which was great, but its success (especially considering there weren't many songs that buck on the radio at the time) seems to have convinced him that shouty choruses over dinky beats are a winning formula, resulting in shitty hooks like "Act A Fool" and "Break Bread" (what the fuck kind of lame bullshit is "mr. pain is back"?). But man, "Get Back" is barely even album track material, let alone worthy of a lead single, weak generic beat, and I'd applaud him for not going the easy route with a big name producer, but not if it results in this.

New Edition f/ Game and P. Diddy - "Hot 2Nite" (remix)
Diddy just shows up to talk over the beat like you'd think he would've on the original, and the Black Milton Bradley comes with a nice sex rhyme on the first verse and then comes harder with his usual west coat coming up talk at the end. It's not really good to rap over, but I fucking love that beat, the fluttering underwater percussion sound that "On Fire" had going for it and the unraveling triplets of the guitar sample. I'm feeling the slightly haggard-looking thirtysomething NE, the interplay between their voices is still on point. I don't even miss Bobby, but then, my favorite 80's New Ed jam is the Bobbyless "If It Isn't Love", which apparently Trick Daddy does a version of on his new album, I'm excited about that.

Jay-Z and R. Kelly f/ Twista - "Mo' Money"
One of the better tracks from the first Best Of Both Worlds, "Get This Money", remixed for Unfinished Business, with Twista doing his usual thing. But the best part is Kelly's verse, I guess it shouldn't be a surprise since he sings in a rapping cadence all the damn time, but he keeps up with Twista's speed pretty well. Jay has this weird stilted flow like he's hollering a little, which doesn't work out well at all but is kind of cool to hear just because it's been so long since he's done anything slightly different with his voice. I was kind of hyped for Unfinished Business when I thought it was gonna be packaged with the original BOBW, just because I never got it when it was out and it does have a few songs I wouldn't mind having. But now it turns out it's gonna be just 11 new tracks (2 of which are remixes). Shit, even the first one had 13 tracks, which was half-assed enough.

Ciara f/ Missy Elliott - "One, Two Step"
My dislike for "Goodies" is well documented, and this isn't really that different, but it does much better with a minimal electro beat (I think Jazze Pha but I'm not sure), and she actually has a decent vocal melody this time, no horrible shrill high notes. After laying low for a minute, Missy is suddenly on my 2 favorite R&B singles of the moment (this and the new Tweet song).

Kanye West f/ Farnsworth Bentley - "The New Workout Plan" (Lil Jon remix)
Kan's been talking up this remix for over 6 months now, he even played it when I saw him live back in April, but he was too busy talking Jesus all summer to put out the "get right for the summer" joint as a single until the fucking fall. Terrible timing. The original "Workout Plan" was one of my favorite songs when the album first dropped, just because it's so nuts and over the top and is like all the goofy sex rhymes on his mixtapes, but fun-haters hyping the backpacker factor wanted to look past it or point it out as the low point of the album. The video is slowly killing any affection I have for it, though, even though it's only as cartoony as the song itself. Plus it's the worst possible thing for him to push just when everyone's about sick of him. As much as I liked the Lil Jonified "Lean Back" beat, his version of this is weak just because his beats don't sound right at that BPM (there's a reason LJ only knows 2 tempos). And god, fucking Farnsworth Bentley. I was cool with him when he was just doing cameos in videos and being some kind of weird authority figure on Making The Band 2, but I don't want to hear his dainty Del Tha Funkee Homosapien-esque raps. Ugh.

I'm getting mad google hits because my "Workout Plan" review started with "BENTLEY FARNSWORTH RAPS!!!!!". I haven't heard the original or any other remixes but the second Bentley opened his mouth the non-heads of America screamed in exaltation. btw am I a head or a non-head? Around these parts I'm behind the game but I might as well be fuckin' Stretch Armstrong or something in town sometimes. It's scary how many people need me to a pull a Johnny Crunkaseed for them in central PA.
Whoa I definitely agree w/ yr review of "Workout Plan" and I think yr right about the original in particularly - it's also the only really CHICAGO sounding track on the album, what w/ the house breakdown/chant at the end.
Did you think "Break Bread" had a dinky beat though?
nah, "Break Bread" isn't very dinky, I just think the hook blows.

fyi, Anthony, most of the "Workout Plan" video is the original song, it's just the Farnsworth part that's from the rmx.
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