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God Des and She

United States of God Des and She

(Self-released; US: 5 Feb 2013; UK: 5 Feb 2013)

God Des and She want to stoke a hip-hop revolution, one that embraces feminism, lesbianism, equality and all manner of forward-thinking progressive values. This is all great, but a band needs more than a manifesto to be successful. It needs tunes. In the case of hip-hop, it needs beats, and in this regard, God Des and She stumbles badly. Beats on potentially strong tunes like “Animal Kingdom” and “God, I Know You Love Me” are anemic and weak, undermining whatever lyrical verve the tune might otherwise have. Meanwhile, on lesser songs like “Ew She Said That” and “You Know My Name”, the tinny drum-machine rhythms leave the songs all but unlistenable.


Interestingly, the most successful tracks here aren’t hip-hop at all. “Don’t Look Back” is a simple pop song whose earworm-y melody is tough to forget, while album closer “Wake Up” is built around a repeating piano line and gospel-chorus interjections. God Des and She have some good ideas and talent, but they need a better producer and stronger material (see: Rage Against the Machine) if they hope to push their revolution forward.

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DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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