A very dear thanks to no doubt, one of the most unique musical followings of today both musically and lyrically. 311's initiating first album "Music" is the most culturally diverse rap CD that has ever graced my CD player and, for that fact, probably that of today as well. This CD was slow to sell at first but eventually, this ended up being a very successful predecessor for the following album "Grassroots". What 311 seems to have majored in since day one all the way up till now is a positive vibe in their lyrics while blowing you away with amazing music.
"Life in pursuit of only money we think it's funny
The only thing that money it could ever bring to me
Would be some gifts for my friends follow me now
Trips for my family."
heard in track 1, Welcome, is one of many examples of the attitude these guys have on life. With the music empowering the lyrics, its not hard to catch on to 311's groove.
Track 1) Welcome
- Notice the title of this song. 311 is inviting you along their musical journey. The intro to this song is the perfect invitation. It starts off with a slow moving Latin American groove then launches off into a slow but heavy rap-essque verse. The vocals on this song are the focal point of the song because they seem to be over powering but also empowering the music that follows. This is my personal favorite on this album.
Track 2) Freak Out
- This song is a particular favorite of listeners and a favorite and famous 311 opener during shows. The song starts off with an upbeat single fret guitar riff then the drums and bass come in to create the perfect mixture of 311's version of hard rock. The point of this song is basically stating that their band is the toughest and that they'll stick together through it all. The lyrics can also be established personally.
Track 3) Visit
- The wisdom of this song is hard to decipher, but the literal meaning is easy to depict. The chorus says, "I wanna visit the world, so now I visit the world, with my time on this world", is basically stating that 311 is going to tour around the world. But its obvious that there is more than one meaning because not every verse in the song talks about seeing the world. What I percieve of this song is basically, dont live life in the fast lane. The guitar line in the song reminds me of a classic rock melody with a 90's guitar effect. The outro included during the song makes for a COMPLETE transition from song style. It goes from heavy and attacking, to a calm and absorbing Latin guitar work.
Track 4) Visit
- The objective given during this song and majorly lyrical. The first sentence makes this known. "Everything you do, it comes back to you, whatever it may be." The proceeding words go on to explain not to fear personal change and take events as they lay out to be. This is yet another slow, yet mildly heavy rap groove. The chorus includes a graceful melody that could make one feel as though they're floating in the clouds.
Track 5) Unity
- The word Unity has a lot of pertinancy in the history of 311. Not to mention it was the name of their latest tour. This is another powerful lyrical song explaining that 311 and their fans are going to make it through it all because they have the power of the Unity. This song is a nonstop barrage of assaulting musical power. Never once slowing down for a minute, but everchanging, it will always be having your head bob. The following are a few excerpts of the song that express the truth of 311's belief's.
-"My bro's are down for the Unity, 311 is down for the Unity, Unanimity of the Unity THATS RIGHT"!
-"Oh G-d I can't believe it but when this era's through I'll say that's it. Edification will take place. Pull up the reigns. And get out of the race."
-"Even if I cared to try I couldn't please them.
Their petty complaints, stupid restraints ain't gonna work."
Track 6) Hydroponic
- 311 emerged during the 90's and that means a large population of the youth were resorting to drugs, particularly marijuana, for outside inspiration. With respect to Nick and SA's habit, 311 was able to produce a song that would become an anthem to all their fans and a personal bow to the pot smokers of America. The song starts out with a quiet bass line that gets increasingly louder with time. When it reaches its apex, the drums and guitar come crashing in to create there trademark slow metal groove. The song stays slow throughout but the transitions in the song make it one to bob to many times over.
Track 7) My Stoney Baby
- One of the more "chill" songs on the album no doubt. With the funky bass bumps over the ska progessed like strumming thoughout the song, there is no excuse not to chill out to this tune. The lyrics are, with lack of a better word, fun. You'll notice that the verses are diverse and have great transitions. Nick and SA are able to harmonize quite pleasantly throughout a few of the verses. The plot of the song, not the meaning in this one, is easily understood if one listens to the song in its entirity. It's about the good times and good people they have stumbled upon in their busy music careers.
Track 8) Nix Hex
- The intention of Nick Hexum (Lead Vocalist) is without a doubt to create a psychadelic delite and is achieved with the entering guitar riff. Tim's guitar effect he uses in this song reminds me of sound bending. The subtle verses behind the lyrics are an absolute joy to listen to. This song is probably the most authentic rap song on the CD, how it achieves it sounding like Santana is a question only 311 could answer. Creepy voices and sound effects are used skillfully in the background at perfect intervals. At the end of the song, a prize awaits.
Track 9) Plain
- This song is kinda funky with a twist of the rap that 311 is accustomed to. Nick explains in the verses that basically, he says what he feels. "If I had a point, I'd say it plain" prooves the songs meaning right there. The drums in the song kinda sound like martini bar music at first but then rolls out to the upbeat funk that Chad Sexton (Drummer) can produce.
Track 10) Feels So Good
- One of 311's most famous trademark songs. This song is remenisent of Freak Out in terms of never ending speed and vibe. The 1st verse explains a quality that each 5 band members have to beat stay on game with everyone else in the music industry and says BRING IT ON rather loud and truthfully. This song definately includes a funk feel with the heavy stuff your used to. P-Nut (Bass) has been critically acclaimed by this song. Fans go crazy when song is played live. You will see why.
Track 11) Do You Right
- This is one of the rare 311 dedication songs. One can tell by reading the title that this song is directed at someone, and its obviously a girl. This song style is unique and "fun". Continuously upbeat and angelic at times, the vibe totally makes for an authentic song to match the title.
Fat Chance/ F**k the Bulls**t
- Fat Chance is a unique little sang dialogue that Nick and SA speak with rhythm. They are giving props to their producer Eddy Offord, in only way 311 knows best...IN SONG! After that little intricate tid bit everything goes quiet... the listener is convinced the CD is over... but wait... he hears something its the albums closing song getting ready to take place. This song is rough and fast and the lyrics are cleary indicating that 311 is mad. The song addresses a lot of human mistakes that have happened, are happening and will happen in the future. I guess you could classify it as a political song with a lot of embellishments following it. This song is a very popular closer when they play live.
I hope this review has helped. Having been my first review, I know I must have screwed up somewhere but I am an avid listener of the band and these are my enterpretations of the songs and album as a whole and to fill you in on what 311 is about.