Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Perfect Timing Review By Chiino (musicovered.com)

If you have any sort of worth, you’d know the significance 13th September has to Hip Hop. On that date in 1996, it marked the death of 2Pac. The Rap nation mourned the passing of an icon and forever the industry had changed. From that point, it became his affiliates’ role to continue his legacy and – even this far down the line – they’ve done so. Dropping their latest release on that all-important date, the Outlawz

(the crew ‘Pac rolled with) return from a slight gap with the suited-titled “Perfect Timing”. Equipped with some of the best links in the Hip Hop world, here’s what happens when you’re not quite established in your own right, but every rapper going wants to be linked to the high-ranking status you’ve got.

Looking at the album on the face of it, it’s difficult to even guess at strong starting places to skip to. It may feature the likes of Tech N9ne, Lloyd and Bun B, but nothing too attention-grabbing makes this release worth delving into. Its an issue which plagues the entire album, whereby the lack of character makes it feel like more of a chore to listen to the record in its entirety, rather than take it for what it gives. A plus to consider, though, is that the teaming of Young Noble, Fatal Hussein and E.D.I. don’t use this album purely to commemorate 15 years since ‘Pac’s death. Instead, they shy away from a melancholy release, by opting to make a celebratory album… even if there isn’t with as much to get excited about.

Preconceptions about the MCs potentially returning a little rustier than their last outing (after a five-year gap between this and their last album – not including the few mixtapes in-between) turn out to be deserved. While the spirit of the ‘90s is alive with their drawled delivery, retro-era production and mature guests, they remain behind with the times. Focusing-in on “Keep it Lit”, for instance, the spitters seem lethargic as they rhyme over Mafioso-styled production. It’s one of a host of examples, which leech the release of any potential to become a Hip Hop must-have. As emotive as the lyrics may be on tunes like “Pushin’ On”, “Don’t Wait” and “Remember Me” may be, their personalities aren’t enough to carry the averagely-made beats which they ride.

While a lot of this album can be criticised for being backwards in areas (with reflective lyrics, lyrical content which hasn’t progressed etc.) they do find a way into the current swing of the Rap game; “So Clean” – with its Trunk Music shell – being one of the shining moments. Elsewhere, on “Fast Lane”, they manage to convincingly prove that they can pull off something ready for radio. It takes on a conventional format and achieves its goal, but are only special in comparison to what else is on the album.

All in all, what’s found on “Perfect Timing” is the best that you’re likely to get out of a trio of average MCs (especially when so far removed from their glory years). It comes across as another attempt to try to please the Outlawz’ old fan base, but without pushing any boundaries with their work. We find ourselves tracking over well-trodden ground, even referencing various classic Hip Hop lines. Given that the recording process for this album began in ‘09, there are clearly parts of the release which sound dated. However, the all-round sound given from the album is one which isn’t really in-touch with the current state of the industry – to a degree, this even stretches through to the acts who feature on it.
Outlawz’ “Perfect Timing” gets a musicovered score of 4/10.

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