August 21, 2019

Jennifer Rush - Jennifer Rush (1992)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Pop
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© 1992 Electrola Records
*No professional reviews available for this release

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Jennifer Rush - Out of My Hands (1995)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Pop
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© 1995 EMI Electrola/Bertelsmann Club
*No professional reviews available for this release.

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Jennifer Rush - Credo (1997)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Pop
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© 1997 Electrola/EMI Electrola
*No professional reviews available for this release.

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August 20, 2019

Jennifer Rush - Jennifer Rush (International Version) (1984) ☠

*U.S. first pressing. Contains 10 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Pop
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1984-1985 CBS Records
*No professional reviews available for this release.

tags: jennifer rush, jennifer rush album, international version, 1984, 1985, flac,

Jennifer Rush - Movin' (1985) ☠

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Pop
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1985 CBS Records
*No professional reviews available for this release.

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Jennifer Rush - Heart Over Mind (1987)

*European first pressing with an alternate cover. Contains 10 tracks total.

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Pop
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© 1987 CBS Records
*No professional reviews available for this release.

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Jennifer Rush - Passion (1988)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Pop
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© 1988 Epic Records
*No professional reviews available for this release.

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Various Artists - New Jersey Drive Vol. 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1995)

*This is the clean version. Contains 8 tracks total. A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
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© 1995 Tommy Boy Records
AllMusic Review by M.F. DiBella
Contrasting the 14 hit-or-miss tracks on New Jersey Drive, Vol. 2 is the quality-packed volume two. Condensed down to an extended play format, this second offering packs more of an underground wallop. The Boot Camp Clique mash up "Headz Ain't Ready" with enamoring verses from Buckshot, Smif N' Wessun, and Ruck and Rock of Heltah Skeltah. The scathing anti-car theft jam "You Won't Go Far" by Organized Konfusion and O.C. is an icily realistic portrayal of the actual act of car jacking. Jeru the Damaja's "Invasion" thumps with a jumpy off-sequenced beat injected by DJ Premier and the unheralded and heretofore unheard from E. Bros. chime in with the jazzy "Funky Piano." Mad Lion delivers his punishing brand of dancehall on the up-tempo banger "Own Destiny." Biz Markie's classic old-school jam "Nobody Beats the Biz" is also featured on the album and rounds out the consistently terrific volume two.

tags: various artists, new jersey drive vol 2, volume 2, original motion picture soundtrack, ost, soundtrack, 1995, flac,

Various Artists - Selena (The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1997)

*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A.
Language: English, Spanish (Español)
Genre: Pop, Tejano, Cumbia
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© 1997 EMI Latin
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Selena -- The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack isn't quite a greatest-hits collection, but it's not really a rarities compilation, either. Instead, the record comprises selected Tejano hits, live medleys and cuts by the Vidal Brothers, Emilio, and the Barrio Boyz, among others. The end result is an enjoyable sampler, even if it isn't the best place to become acquainted with the tragically departed Tejano icon.

tags: various artists, selena the original motion picture soundtrack, 1997, ost, soundtrack, movie soundtrack, flac,

Superdrag - Regretfully Yours (1996) ☠

*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Post Grunge
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 1996 Elektra Records
AllMusic Review by Nitsuh Abebe
In the glut of grungy power pop bands that flooded the mid-'90s, it was pretty easy to write off Superdrag as "just another rock band." The difference is that Superdrag is essentially a pop band, as Regretfully Yours proves. While the band's sound itself is nothing terribly exciting, most of the songwriting lives up to the promise of the album's saccharine-rush single, "Sucked Out" -- full of hooks and tightly constructed. This is somewhat surprising, considering the album was the band's first for a major audience, and the norm of the time period was for producers and labels to reduce every rock band to a Seattle clone. Regretfully Yours will certainly satisfy the pop/rock and pop-punk crowds -- Weezer and Bad Religion fans alike -- but indie rock lovers should look to the band's early independent singles.

tags: superdrag, super drag, regretfully yours, 1996, flac,

August 19, 2019

Movement Ex - Movement Ex (1990)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Conscious Rap
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© 1990 Columbia Records
AllMusic Review by Ron Wynn
Movement Ex's 1990 debut was a forthright Islamic/Afrocentric outing, with tight studio production support.

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Leaders of The New School - A Future Without A Past… (1991) ☠

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
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☠: Selected by Sentinel
© 1991 Elektra Records
AllMusic Review by Stanton Swihart
Even in the vibrant early-'90s hip-hop scene, A Future Without a Past... emerged as a breath of fresh air, simultaneously presenting a throwback to the old-school rhyme tradeoffs and call-and-response rapping styles of crews like the Furious Five and the Funky Four + One, and vaulting rap headlong into its future. Brash and full of youthful energy and exuberance, Leaders of the New School was the perfect meshing of three distinctly different but entirely complementary personalities whose flows flew in the face of conventional MC etiquette, from Dinco D.'s straightforward, intellectual tongue-twisting to Charlie Brown's zany shrieks to Busta Rhymes' viscous, reggae-inspired toasting -- skirting the line between seriousness and humor -- which, only a few years later, would help him to hit commercial pay dirt as a solo artist. That's not even to mention the DJ and sometime reggae-tinged emcee, DJ Cut Monitor Milo. The result is one of the most infectious rap albums ever created. The songs are, first and foremost, meant to be fun and humorous, and they are certainly that, particularly on Charlie Brown's nonsensical "What's the Pinocchio's Theory," the insistent "Trains, Planes and Automobiles" and "My Ding-A-Ling," and Busta Rhymes' jovial ode to full-figured women, "Feminine Fatt." The cut-and-paste production is expert throughout, packed with fresh samples, thanks to Bomb Squad member Eric "Vietnam" Sadler, the Stimulated Dummies crew, and the Vibe Chemist Backspin, and the group also show themselves to be quite capable with a sampler, particularly Milo's incredible work on "Case of the P.T.A." and "My Ding-A-Ling." But it would be wrong to simply peg this album as a foray into kinder, gentler, more lighthearted and innocent hip-hop. Firstly, the album has the feel and scope of a loose concept album and is separated into three sections, the first two set in school, the final one following the members after school lets out, and that alone points to a group of young men -- mostly still teenagers -- trying to move rap into new dimensions. Secondly, the ambience of New York permeates A Future Without a Past, but it is simply presented from a younger and far less jaded perspective. Songs such as "Just When You Thought It Was Safe" and "Sound of the Zeekers @#^**?!," if not exactly hard-edged and political, offer far more than throwaway sentiment, and lyrically L.O.N.S. never descend into naiveté. The album portrays a group of young men who are fully emerged in the sometimes less-than-innocent urban life that characterizes hip-hop culture, but are also able to transcend the inherent limits and pitfalls to which that life can lead. In that sense, it is a celebration of all the best aspects of hip-hop culture and youth.

tags: leaders of the new school, a future without a past, 1991, flac,

Leaders of The New School - T.I.M.E. (The Inner Mind's Eye) (1993)⚓

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
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© 1993 Elektra Records
AllMusic Review by Stanton Swihart
Far be it for anyone to claim that Leaders of the New School lacked ambition during their fascinating, far too short-lived career, which culminated on this follow-up to their exciting debut album. With T.I.M.E. the barely adult-aged members check in with their second loose concept album, this time delving into a sort of urban sci-fi mysticism. Obviously, the group doesn't entirely pull off this concept, and ther point understandably becomes murky or downright opaque. The ambition itself, however, is intriguing in practice, and the album is an endlessly interesting listen. Upon its release, many saw T.I.M.E. as a dramatic falloff from the manic, happy-go-lucky charm and vitality of the unit's first album, which had simply combusted in the hop-hop community when it was released two years earlier. In hindsight, T.I.M.E. is a much more mature work, both musically and lyrically, pushing forward into territories never hinted at in the first; as a whole, it's also arguably a more interesting album. In its own way, the production here is just as strong as that on the first album. It's far less loopy and idiosyncratic (and less novel) this time around, often just building off a dense beat and an ominous bassline, as on the hypnotic "Syntax Era," instead of pasting together all manner of samples. This approach gives the album much more sonic cohesion and intellectual heft, however. Easily, this is a much more hard-edged venture into the hip-hop underground aesthetic. The entire first half of the album is a dazzling sequence of songs, any of which, regardless of the concept, could have been brilliant singles. Songs such as "Classic Material" (with an unforgettable horn hook), "Daily Reminder," and "Connections" relentlessly pound their way into your head, and in "A Quarter to Cutthroat," L.O.N.S. comes up with a sensational, gritty New York City and hip-hop anthem. A couple of the pieces on the record's second half don't maintain the same lofty heights as the first -- the album is probably ten minutes or so too long -- occasionally sounding redundant or flat. They are never complete missteps, however, and the posse cut "Spontaneous (13 MC's Deep)" gives the album its centerpiece. Alas, Busta Rhymes, having already fully reached his distinctive style, seemed a bit confined in the group dynamic here; not long after the album's release, he broke up the group and went solo.

tags: leaders of the new school, time, ti.m.e., the inner minds eyes, 1993, flac,

August 18, 2019

Nile - Ithyphallic (2007)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Death Metal
Style: Technical Death Metal
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© 2007 Nuclear Blast Records
Review by Allmusic.com
South Carolina's Nile have done a nice job setting themselves apart from the extreme metal pack. For 14 years and counting, the group has carried on its tradition of technical musicianship suited with unique lyrics inspired by an odd obsession with ancient Egyptian culture, history, and mythology. It's an odd combination, but it works. And ITHYPHALLIC (their fifth full-length, and first for Nuclear Blast) is a representative heap of the band's savagely good thinking-man's death metal.

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Nile - Those Whom The Gods Detest (2009)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Death Metal
Style: Technical Death Metal
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© 2009 Nuclear Blast Records
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato
It's hard to not be impressed by the sheer sonic onslaught that is otherwise known as Nile. Except to the most hardened death metal fanatic, the genre has a way of sounding the same after a while, but Nile is one of the few exceptions -- able to put their own unmistakable fingerprints on this heavy duty style (Egyptian-influenced lyrics and musical bits, highly impressive instrumental dexterity, etc.). And on their sixth studio effort overall, 2009's Those Whom the Gods Detest, Nile has once again proven that they are a step ahead of the rest of the pack. Although some of the sonic depth has to be attributed to producer Neil Kernon (after all, he worked with such sticklers for audio perfection as Queensrÿche in the past), it's the true metallic fury that Nile create themselves that makes it all extremely impressive. Case in point, such delicious death metal ditties as "Kafir!," while on selections such as the title track and what's sure to be top metal song title of 2009, "Yezd Desert Ghul Ritual in the Abandoned Towers of Silence," Karl Sanders shows why he is considered by many to be the finest guitarist of the extreme metal genre (both songs incorporate Sanders' love of all things Middle Eastern). "Exotic" and "heavy metal" are not often terms used together, but in the case of Those Whom the Gods Detest, they go together as splendidly as peanut butter and jelly.

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Nile - At The Gate of Sethu (2012)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Death Metal
Style: Technical Death Metal
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© 2012 Nuclear Blast Records
Review by Zach Duvall for Your Last Rites.com
At The Gate Of Sethu is a puzzling, enjoyable, and ultimately troubling album. After six albums and more than a decade of basically ruling the death metal world, Nile shouldn’t need to do anything more than keep pace with themselves. By continuing to work excellently within their own framework, they’ve kept up a staggering level of quality – Those Whom The Gods Detest stands among their best work – so expecting them to continue in such a fashion with At The Gate Of Sethu was not a faulty presumption. However, presumptions can make fools of us all, and Sethu seems more intent on teaching us lessons than reaffirming our trust in the band.
If there is one lesson that At The Gate Of Sethu teaches us almost immediately, it is that Nile is desperately dependent upon their hulking wall of sound – that which has a larger gravitational pull than the pyramids that serve as their inspiration. The dense, balanced, and bludgeoning sound Nile normally crafts allows them to go about their normal business of weaving heaps of Middle Eastern and minor key riffs, gurgled and screamed vocals, and inhumanly blasted drumming into truly behemoth death metal albums. Sethu does not enjoy this luxury. The production is flat, dry, largely devoid of bottom end, and almost completely unNile in nature. Worse, the mix seems haphazard, exposing the thinness of the vocal performances and isolating the drumming. It’s a puzzling move by a band that so consistently puts out colossal-sounding albums. It may be an ill-fated attempt to create a stripped down or old school presentation, but all it really does is make the album sound like a Nile demo.
The end result is that Nile sounds exposed. Not so much for their lack of innovation – very few among us expect that – but for failing to make full use of their own razor sharp tools. A good half of the album feels tossed together from past ideas: lazy attempts at being epic during “The Fiends Who Come To Steal The Magick Of The Deceased,” blatant recycling of the hook from “Lashed To The Slave Stick” during “Supreme Humanism Of Megalomania” (a song that isn’t nearly as fun as that from which it steals), or a failure to even execute the gargantuan weight and menace normally associated with “slower” Nile songs (closer “The Chaining Of The Iniquitous”). None of it is horrid, and more than a few songs pack adequate heat, but the entire platter ends up being somewhat forgettable when placed within the context of the band’s legacy.
Still, the biggest issue with Sethu is not the production or even the recycled ideas, but its lack of those special moments of pure battle-ridden Nileness upon which their albums have always been anchored. In short, there’s not enough Nile in my Nile. Nothing here rivals the horn-signaling, slave-driving passages in “Unas Slayer of the Gods,” the unforgettable chorus of “Kafir,” or the holistic brilliance of “Annihilation of the Wicked.”  In fact, by far the album’s best song, pseudo title track “The Gods Who Light Up The Sky At The Gate Of Sethu,” succeeds less because of its stereotypically Nile elements and more because it is merely a really good death metal track.
As is often the case, a lesser album by a great band is still a pretty good album, and At The Gate Of Sethu is certainly that, it’s just not a very good Nile album. Whether the well is running dry or there is just a temporary drought remains to be seen, but the present result is an album that should provide a few quick thrills before finding a permanent spot on the shelf. Between the production and the shortage of over-the-top Nile moments, there’s a small sense that the band is trying to be slightly more ordinary (slightly). Problem: Nile isn’t that good at ordinary. They excel at ridiculous. At The Gate Of Sethu just isn’t ridiculous enough, and that’s troubling.

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Solitude Aeturnus - Adagio (1998)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Doom Metal
Style: Epic Doom
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© 1998 Olympic Recordings
AllMusic Review by Jason Anderson
When Solitude Aeturnus vocalist Robert Lowe goes into his grittier, more menacing delivery (as he does on the odd-timed "Days of Prayer"), things work very nicely. Unfortunately, the singer's other vocal delivery -- often flat, clean, and long-winded -- is featured much more often on this, the group's fifth record. The group's slow approach to doom metal riffing only compounds the problem by giving Lowe extra space to fill with his uneven moaning. The unfortunate mismatch is not so bad that listeners won't be able to appreciate the titanic riffing on highlights like "Idis" and "Mental Pictures," two low'n'slow epics that suffer from the Lowe treatment but don't collapse because of it. With so little interest in American doom metal, Solitude Aeturnus deserves credit for sticking it out in the late '90s and releasing three credible attempts at the genre. It is a difficult call, but this dogged commitment can't quite make up for the flaws in Solitude Aeturnus and Adagio.

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Solitude Aeturnus - Downfall (2001 Reissue)

 *Reissued in 2001 by Crash Music with an altered album cover. Tracklist, track total and mastering remain unchanged. Contains 9 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Doom Metal
Style: Epic Doom
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© 1996-2001 Crash Music
AllMusic Review by Brian O'Neill
Originally released in 1996 on Pavement Records, Downfall was reissued by Crash Music in 2002. Unfortunately, the reissue lacks many of the amenities that usually accompany such releases, so don't expect any bonus cuts or the like. The fourth album sees the Texas troupe experimenting a bit more from its doom metal origins, but not so much so as to alienate original fans. "Deathwish," a relatively bouncy track powered by a great riff, "Elysium," a three-minute spooky, effect-laden monologue of sorts, and "These Are the Nameless," a galloping, stomping power metal paean, are deviations from the slow, gothic style the group excels at. Downfall is the most complete album Solitude Aeturnus has made to date, even if purists might prefer the more straight-ahead, earlier Roadrunner material.

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Solitude Aeturnus - Alone (2006) ☠

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Doom Metal
Style: Epic Doom
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☠: Selected by Buccaneer
© 2006 Massacre Records
Review by Keith Bergman for Blabbermouth.net
When those stately riffs ponderously march in, and that voice soars above them, the criminally long wait since the last SOLITUDE AETURNUS album will disappear in your mind. The hair will raise on the back of your neck, your spine will tingle, and that inimitable doom sound will flood your spirit once again, reminding anyone who doubted that this band is, if not the best classic doom metal band in history, at the very least the best one still active today.
Not sure who we're talking about here? You're forgiven — after all, there hasn't been new SOLITUDE product on the racks since 1999's "Adagio", and it's been a while longer than that since the band was a priority of anyone doing any sort of promotion. What you need to know is that vocalist Robert Lowe is possessed of a soaring, emotive voice that manages to be as viscerally satisfying as it is technically impressive, and that the band has all but written the book on American doom metal. They single-handedly carry the torch for this melodic, epic form, equaling the grandeur of CANDLEMASS at their peak, and possessing the class and staid grace of prime Dio-era SABBATH. Big words? Yes, but if you've fallen under the SOLITUDE spell, you know it's all true.
Perhaps fittingly after such a long absence, "Alone" kicks off with a weighty nine-minute tome, "Scent of Death", presenting the revamped lineup to the world with a crystal-clear manifesto that the band is still beholden to utter doom. Occasional tasteful keyboards aside, this band is all about laying down granite slabs of larger-than-life riffs, striking big, clean, obsidian open chords and leaving plenty of wide-open space for Lowe to theatrically deliver his melodramatic odes with wide-eyed conviction and effortless grace. Just listen to "Upon Within", for example — the building blocks of the song are so simple, they're primitive, but delivered by this band, with this much smoldering intensity and finesse, the song becomes a doom classic.
While "Alone" has a very back-to-basics feel to it, not every song plods at a funereal pace; "Sightless" lurches into a menacing midtempo, and other songs often shift unexpectedly into more upbeat moments. SOLITUDE AETURNUS are masters at adding dynamics to their sound – giving each song personality and avoiding monotony — while never straying from the cathartic bleakness and majestic gloom of their overall sound. It'll take more time to live with it before rash statements like "best album ever" can be made, but damned if "Alone" isn't at least on par with the band's revered back catalog.
I'd hate to say "Alone" was "worth the wait", because it might somehow lead to another eight-year delay in getting a follow-up. But whatever tribulations kept this Texas quintet off the record racks in this millennium, they've only made the band stronger, even more in touch with their solemn muse, and capable of delivering timeless, classic metal in an era that sees damn little of it. An absolute must-have.

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Del The Funky Homosapien - No Need For Alarm (1993)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
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© 1993 Elektra Records
AllMusic Review by Nathan Rabin
After helping create the West Coast underground scene with his 1991 debut, Del tha Funkee Homosapien made a radical departure with 1993's No Need for Alarm, eschewing the familiar G-funk of his debut for a jazzier, more sophisticated sound more akin to East Coast acts like Black Moon and Main Source. The thematic and lyrical content of Del's work underwent a considerable change as well, with No Need for Alarm largely avoiding the endearing comic vignettes and blunted utopian vision of his debut for a never-ending string of battle raps. Del's loopy sense of humor remained intact, but without the structure and pop savvy of I Wish My Brother George Was Here, No Need for Alarm feels a bit aimless, even if it does contain some of Del's best work to date. "Catch a Bad One" showcases Del's new direction to the best effect, driven by Casual's sinister, hypnotic, string-laced production and some of the fiercest and most potent battle raps of Del's career. When No Need for Alarm works, it's terrific -- funny, skillfully produced, and wonderfully propulsive. Unfortunately, it only works about a third of the time. Critics have taken Del's debut to task for having a fairly generic P-funk-dominated sound more in line with executive producer Ice Cube's work than Del's unique sensibility, but Del has always functioned better when paired with strong collaborators. Sure, it could be argued that I Wish My Brother George Was Here and Deltron 3030 reflect the sensibilities of producers and co-producers Ice Cube and DJ Pooh and Dan the Automator as much as they do Del, but working with strong-willed peers has a tendency to temper the artist's tendency toward self-indulgence and bring out the best in him. Without a strong sense of direction, No Need for Alarm is frustratingly uneven, rich and transcendent one moment and aimless and repetitive the next. Still, it's a challenging, unique, and uncompromising follow-up, one well worth picking up for anyone interested in either the evolution of West Coast hip-hop or just the evolution of one of its most talented, eccentric, and gifted artists.

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Del The Funky Homosapien - Both Sides of The Brain (2000)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
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© 2000 Hiero Imperium
AllMusic Review by Dan Gizzi
Both Sides of the Brain is Del Tha Funkee Homosapien's fourth album, on which Del makes an effort to show both sides of his personality. For example, on "Proto Culture," Del is joined by Khaos Unique, and the two rap about one of their favorite things -- video games. The listener also gets to see another side of Del on "Jaw Gymnastics," on which Del and Casual team up for a fierce battle rhyme. Throughout the album, Del does the same thing, covering topics from drunk driving and crack addicts to the importance of good hygiene. Besides Casual on "Jaw Gymnastics" and Khaos Unique on "Proto Culture," Del is also joined by El-P on "Offspring" and A-plus on "Stay on Your Toes." Del produced the majority of the album, and even though he hasn't produced much in the past, most of his beats are good. The listener can also hear Del's video game obsession in a lot of the songs he produced, as many contain samples from video games.

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Del The Funky Homosapien - Future Development (2002)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
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© 2002 Hiero Imperium
AllMusic Review by Stanton Swihart
Sort of a stop-gap cassette-only release (available exclusively on the Hieroglyphics web site) between Del's two original major-label albums and his first independent release on Hieroglyphics' own Imperium label, the optimistically titled Future Development (which also acts like a promise) doesn't show any signs of negligence. Nothing here is tossed off or given inattention. What does seem different about the album is that its themes are less serious, more rock-a-party, in the old-school sense: hanging out, scoping girls, making rhymes, telling stories. Instead of the observational seriocomedy of his debut and the acid-psychedelia of the follow-up, Del has lightened the load on his space-holding unofficial third release. Elements of urban commentary and acid dementia (especially the former) are still present, but they seem less front-and-center. As such, the album is less coherent than his previous two albums and less immediate-sounding without being immaterial. The characteristic Funkee Homosapien presence is still apparent, and it is impossible not to find something inviting about it. Del's voice really does recall his cousin Ice Cube's deep Southern drawl, but instead of an audible chip on the shoulder, Del is buoyant and fun and, not least of all, lyrically dexterous. He brings the West Coast funk, too-loping, low-end heavy, Saturday-afternoon summer funk -- and, as with all things Del, it comes out mutated, alien, and just plain different that anyone else's hip-hop production, but in this case, far less manic than usual. The affect is a smiling sort of somnolence, almost to the point of jazzy, chill-out hip-hop. Instead of internalizing the stress of the world, Del chooses to "Stress the World" this time around, taking a quick break before he proceeds his future development.

 tags: del the funky homosapien, future development, 2002, flac,