4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 10 December 2012
I don't seem to understand why Big Boi doesn't get the recognition he deserves. He was one half of the biggest rap duo to ever come out of Atlanta, Outkast, and had relative success with his debut album. However, this release has been pretty low key. But, it doesn't mean it doesn't serve an amazing review. Here are my thoughts.
ASCENDING: A spoken word introduction to the album. (5/5) THE THICKETS: The soft blend of the soulful, catchy hook provided by Sleepy Brown with three lyrically masterful verses, making this one of the most radio friendly tracks on the album. Later down the line, this deserves to be a single. (5/5) APPLE OF MY EYE: Boi relieves the heydays of Outkast with one of the catchiest, pop-influenced tracks on the album, relevant of the Outkast classics 'The Whole World' and 'So Fresh, So Clean'. This definitely deserves to become the next single. I guarantee the hook will get you singing along after a couple of listens. Something like this could easily reignite Boi's chart career. (5/5) OBJECTUM SEXUALITY: Another blend of powerfully structured electronic beats to an anthemic hook from collaborator Phantogram makes this one of the darkest, moodiest yet stadium-like tracks on the album, that is very reminiscent of the 'Atliens' era. (5/5) IN THE A: Boi takes it right back to basics with this link up with fellow rappers T.I. and Ludacris, making it one of the hardest, hip-hop based tracks on the record. Not completely my cup of tea, but as collaborations go, it's not a bad one. (3.5/5) SHE HATES ME: Boi takes on what is known as a 'rap ballad' in the industry with this powerfully successful colloboration with Kid Cudi. At this point to start to wonder why Boi hasn't chosen to promote this album here in the UK. Another track worthy of being released as a single. (5/5) CPU: Phantogram returns with another electronically structured rap link-up. Something that appeals to both the rap enthusiast and the downtown clubber. You can just imagine a futuristic visual to accompany this for television airplay. (5/5) THOM PETTIE: Blasted right back into the days of 'Stankonia' with this link-up with long-time collaborator Killer Mike. For me, this one has slightly too many explitives and too much of an unusual structure to become one of the album's stand out tracks. (3.5/5)
MAMA TOLD ME: Boi takes on the world of mainstream pop with a link up with pop lothario and Destiny's Child star Kelly Rowland. After being released as the album's lead single, it achieved moderate success around the world. It's one of the best tracks on the album, and it's highly worthy of five stars. (5/5) LINES: By now, we start to realise that Boi's anthemic hookups with Phantogram are some of his best solo tracks. This time, he also enlists rising star A$AP Rocky to join him on the rap offensive. It's perhaps not as strong as some of the other tracks on the album, but it shines enough not to just be listed as a filler. (4/5) SHOES FOR RUNNING: Boi fulfills his promise of making another street anthem after the popularity of 'Follow Us' from his debut album. This time, worldwide star B.o.B joins him to take it up to another level. In a competition, it would be very difficult to choose between the two. (5/5) RASPBERRIES: The introduction, as haunting as 'Ms Jackson' almost thirteen years ago, sets the stage for another dark southern rap ballad. This time, Boi takes on the talents of Mouche and Scar to add some flavour to the otherwise plain electronic bass chord. It surprises me more than it pleases me, as it features little Boi, and more of the two featured artists. Perhaps the weakest track on the standard album. (3/5) TREMENDOUS DAMAGE: The super ballad of the album. An anthemic piano riff combined with an inspirational hook from collaborator Bokso makes this prime candidate for a Billboard Hot 100 chart topper. The key change towards the end is also enough to lift you from your feet. (5/5) DESCENDING: The acoustic guitar comes out for the close of the standard album. This pretty much instrumental close is a pleasing solution to a rollercoaster ride of an album. (5/5) HIGHER RES: Now we move on the deluxe edition of the album, which usually features tracks that are sub-standard or not good enough to make the standard album. And this is clearly one of them. The autotuned vocals combined with a completely unstructured instrumental make this the worst track on the album. (2/5) GOSSIP: One of two promotional singles released prior to the album. Now, i can't understand why this didn't make the standard edition. It's flashes of brilliance combined with some classic OutKast beats makes this one of the most successful hip-hop tracks Boi has produced in the last couple of years. (5/5) SHE SAID OK: The second of two promotional singles released prior to the album. The most expletive of the album tracks, but perhaps the most soulful, blending essences of throwback soul and jazz to make this a perfect close to the deluxe edition of the album. (5/5)
After all of the ups and downs, you can clearly see that Big Boi has a high level of talent. From his time with OutKast to his own solo projects, he really has seen both sides of the musical spectrum. "Higher Res" and "Raspberries" are weakest tracks of the album, but apart from that, everything else is pretty much solid. So, a great effort. I can't wait to see more from both Boi as a solo artist and OutKast.
on 31 May 2013
A great second album from Big Boi which deserves more credit. The album has sold badly and had some bad reviews but it is definitely worth a listen!
"Apple Of My Eye" and "CPU" are both very catchy and could easily be great singles if they got the airplay! The former reminds me of some great Outkast songs.
The album has a nice mix of songs in general though...a heavy rap song with punch lines from Big Boi, T.I and Ludacris, one for the hard core hip hop fans, a very B.O.B song for the younger generation, great appearances from Kid Cudi and A$AP too. The album has a nice finish with songs 13 & 14 at the slower pace...
Personally I think the three bonus songs are not needed and kind of make it drag on a bit...I know Big Boi (and Outkast) have always given long albums but was there a need to put an experimental song (track 15), a song just to include label mates (16) and a song about a woman showing you her private bits (17) at the end of the album??! Finish the album at track 14 and you will be a satisfied listener.
It's a shame that a Hip Hop legend (ok mainly being a part of Outkast) has delivered another great album, in my opinion better than the last, yet the critics have given it a poor rating and even worse no one has gone out and bought the CD! Will the label allow us to get album number three??
Show your support and buy this album!
on 6 May 2013
When I first heard big bois single 'apple of my eye', I loved it immediately and decided to buy the album based on that. And o wasnt disappointed. Big Boi has a perfect mix of hip hop and electronica elements, still staying true to hip hop. Tunes like 'in the A' are really worth a listen. Id really recommend this album.