March 04, 2022

Foreign Legion - Playtight (2003)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: LKR003

© 2003 Look Records
This trio of rappers treads over a myriad of hip-hop styles and influences, beginning with the lightweight "Here We Go Again," which has an ambient hue combined with acoustic guitar samples. Each drop their own rhymes during each song, but for the opening number, it's a rather clichéd affair. The grandiose "It's Working" builds itself up into a finer- and funkier-sounding tune, especially with the Marc Stretch starting the song off in a style resembling Sweatshop Union or Swollen Members. However, the melodic, flute-tinted "Feel the Music" has little going for it. The '70s lounge-meets-romance style misses the mark as Lisa Stansfield's "Been Around the World" is briefly used as a hook. They also seem to have an affinity for Three's Company characters, as they drop names like Jack Tripper and Mr. Roper in certain tunes. Perhaps the biggest knock against the early tunes is how little originality there is, especially on "Nasty Lady." Composed of old-school rhymes, average scratching with a subtle backbeat à la Missy Elliott keeps it together. The party-inducing "Happy Drunk" has a great groove to it as the singalong and danceable feeling easily comes through. Strings and orchestral samples are used during "How Do It Feel," but lacks the flow tunes from P. Diddy or Tupac were able to effortlessly get across. Another highlight is the Cypress Hill-esque "Champagne Beamin'" with Maryam contributing to the song. Even here, though, the effort sags in the middle, stretched out far too long for its own good. "Voodoo Star" harks back to Stevie Wonder in his heyday and is perhaps the album's sleeper. Public Enemy comes to mind during "Bring It," with its old-school sound and substance, making it the second strong track. The cohabitant ordeal on "Roommate Joint" has its humorous moments, but on the whole, it's a case of too little too late.

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tags: foreign legion, playtight, 2003, flac,