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Brother Reade

Rap Music

(Record Collection; US: 10 Jul 2007; UK: Available as import)

A glance at the cover for Brother Reade’s debut, Rap Music, may cull some weary responses. But the duo, consisting of emcee Jimmy Jamz and producer Bobby Evans, soar through fifteen tracks of dankly thick beats and poetic rhymes that transcend the banality of typical party stompers. The boys are content to focus most of their efforts on moving the crowd, but like on the melodically off-kilter “Let’s Go” and double-timed “About the Rock,” they do it in an unforeseen way. On the production side, Evans is quick to throw in spooky throat lurches and twinkling Nintendo samples to add spice to his already thumping drums. One of the best examples of his work is the beat for “Baby it Pays,” which, after beginning with a delicate jazz guitar sample, launches into a full-fledged head-knocker complete with a fat kick drum, some combative bassoon puffs and a quivering spring flick to act as snare. But the reason the duo fares so well is because of Jamz, who simply complements the beats rather than overpowers them. His lyrical turns of phrase work best on tracks like “The Marcie Song”, where he spits “Her presence makes me feel exactly like a drug without the coming down / Somehow lost loves like heroin, lone / No babblin’ on / I’ve introduced the heroine to the song.” The album does fail to provide a solid identity for the duo, with Jamz often falling into monotone and Evans keeping himself at a far distance, but with plenty of tracks to make necks effortlessly snap, Rap Music delivers exactly what its name promises.

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