United States of God Des and She
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.