on 30 July 2003
Ugly Duckling are, in my opinion, the best hip-hop band around right now. Sounding a little like a mutant cross between early De La Soul and the funkier side of the Beastie Boys, this is seriously fun hip-hop.
I just saw them live and I can also vouch that their show is incredible.
This is their second full-length album, and it's got some great songs on it. However, I don't think it's as consistently great as their last album, Journey to Anywhere, or their awesome debut EP, Fresh Mode. They seem to have got ever-so-slightly childish in parts. Still, this is a great album by any measure and injects some much-needed humour into an industry increasingly dominated by bird-flipping meatheads. The beats are great, the word-play often makes you break out into a grin, and there are a few tracks that would get any party started.
If you like hip-hop and you've never heard Ugly Duckling before you MUST buy Journey to Anywhere AND this album. If you already have Journey to Anywhere then you're missing out on some great new UD tracks if you don't buy this.
And make sure you catch them live when they next play in your town!
on 22 January 2004
I bought this album about 5 months ago after stumbling across it unexpectedly. I'd never heard of Ugly Duckling before and I wasn't even sure what the style of music was other than quirky, hip-hop, with a bit of the old school. One play later and I was totally hooked. I've never heard such a well put together album where talented artist's manage to make exceptional music that is not only original and fun, but it is acheived without the need for swearing or shouting about killing everyone. It now sits firmly in my CD collection and more often than not, in my bootchanger. All the tracks are fantastic with special note going to The Opening Act, Energy drink, Dumb it Down with extra special mention to Mr Tough guy which could be about any So Solid fan and Revolucion which is a kick back to the days of the B-boy before the cursing rappers appeared on the scene with their bling bling and over excited ego's. Anyone will enjoy this album, it's in-offensive, excellent music, but if your pushing thirty, ahem, have a broader horizon and a bit of the old B-boy in you, you'll find it a real treat.
on 4 August 2003
I gotta admit I was apprehensive about this album.
Having picked up Udgly Duckling's previous EP's and album, seen them live on numerous ocasions and met them a couple of times my hopes were higher than normal.
When my copy hit my doormat I put in on, turned it up and was not dissapointed.
Einstein's cuts are flawless as ever, and lyrically Andy and Dizzy mix up just the right amount of wit and wisdom.
Some of these tracks are going to soundtrack the best parties of the summer, and some just have something to say. See Pottymouth's attack on the poor skills of so many of today's top selling mc's (I'm not saying I never cuss, but profanity shouldn't be a crutch) and La Revolucion's call to arms to fans of old school and underground hip hop the world over.
If this album isn't one of the biggest hits of '03, it's one hell of an injustice.
(Keep your eyes peeled for Dizzy's side project Blown Celebs and Andy guesting with funk band Crankcase both emerging this year).
on 18 July 2003
If you buy CD this year about Meat Shakes - Make it this one. More funky, funny and fresh jam from this crew.
Its great to see people doing feel good, no cursing, great raps like these.
on 19 June 2003
Let me make this clear to those who may not know.... Ugly Duckling are the freshest Hip Hop act around... Period... I am not hearing an argument!!!
Yes Jurassic 5 are wicked.. Black Eyed Peas are heavy.. but UD are the most inovative.. the funniest.. the realest.. the most profound Hip Hop act on the planet
Fresh mode was on it.. Journey to anywhere was FRESH.. I have had this peice of Hip Hop history 2 days and it has even eclipsed both of those. I cant find a track that is not totally fresh and off the hook.. and I mean "hook".. no one does hooks like UD.. its infectious from the second it drops.
If an album has 4 great tracks I will buy it.. this has 16 and I say that cause even the album comedy themed meatshake skits are hilarious and lead into serious head bobbin hip hop.. profanity free classics that show what real hip hop is.
If you want nonsense about being "in da club" or being a "real gansta" you dont have to look far. If however you want real Hip Hop... get this now... mainstream Hip Hop now excepts that regardless of colour eminiem is one of the top MC's (not for me but hey) so if you dont know about Ugly Duckling.. dont think just buy... If you dont bubble over the first time you play it you dont like Hip Hop.. dont say you do.
every track is a classic but "rio de Janeiro", "Turn it up" and "potty mouth"... crazy hot!!
on 30 June 2003
Fans of UD's fresh flavours (OK, "fresh" only in that no one else is reprising early 1990's up-beat hip-hop!) will have been desperately waiting for this the latest instalment from the saviours of Hip-hop. For those new to UD, welcome and enjoy hip-hop form the heart – no bling, no guns ! UD are, as always, about peace, love, unity and HAVIN’ FUN!
The beats are tight and funky, and the rhyming is as tight and inventive as ever. Andy and Dizzy kick some veritable donkey in their tag team exchanges and Young Einstein is more expansive with his cuts and scratches.
Although UD succumb to introducing little story skits into the album, these are much more engaging and entertaining than the normal self-indulgent nonsense that artists engage in. We are treated to some fine slow-flow and neat comedy rhymes.
Overall, another wicked effort from the boys, if a little too cutesy in some tracks (“Potty Mouth” being the worst offender). However the bombast of “Energy Drink” and “Pass it on”, coupled with the 100% accurate anti-work sentiments of “I wanna go home” more than make up for this. Listen and love this!
4 and ½ stars.
on 25 June 2003
Two years after their criminally underrated first album 'Journey To Anywhere', Ugly Duckling return with 'Taste The Secret'. On this one they stay true to their unique brand of hip-hop on a humourously bizarre concept of a fast-food restaurant selling "meat shakes" rivalling with "The Veggie Hut", a vegetarian restaurant. The songs on this album are also more uptempo than the last, but in a good way. Despite this, the Ugly Duckling style has barely changed at all and it shouldn't disappoint fans. My top three tracks are 'Rio De Janiero', 'Turn It Up' and 'La Revelucion', but there isn't a bad song on here. Whilst 'Taste The Secret' isn't quite as good as 'Journey To Anywhere', it's still an excellent album which is essential for anyone who can appreciate REAL hip-hop.
on 7 July 2003
Recently I have bought many albums that have been disapointing and have ended up being sold on due to the fact that I will never listen to them again.....This album will not be one of them. Ugly duckling have created a fresh, funny, funky album that will not disapoint fans who like there hip hop more giggles than gangsta. The skits are genuinely funny compared to most albums efforts and the "Meat shake" theme that runs thru the album ties the tracks together and adds an extra somthing most cd's lack. There is not a track on the album that needs fast forwarding and it is a pleasure to listen to over and over again. If you have previous Ugly duckling ablums and are thinking about buying this...stop thinking...buy now. The guys have really come into there own with this effort and have given us one of the freshest sounding albums for a long time...thanks guys!
on 3 March 2004
I bought this album because I had heard reviews of it on a forum that i frequently visit. It was given great reviews in Japan apparently, and listening to it there is not one weak track, there is even a little bit of comedy with a few of the tracks which is quite rare when it comes to listening to CD's. This underground group are definatly in the top 10 list of my favorite albums, there is some good percussion in this. One definatly for the hip hop culturists out there.
on 7 December 2004
What a great album! I had never heard of Ugly Duckling before about 5 days ago when I searched for Jazz-Hip Hop on a music download site, and I must say I am so impressed at their music! It's great fun jam out hip hop. When you just feel like dancing or chilling, put on Ugly Duckling!!!!! Great Music!!!
5 stars!!! :D