[13 August 2009]
The duo of Pseudo Slang—made up of Emcee Sick, of Xtracts of Slang, and producer/rapper Tone Atlas, of Pseudo Intellectuals (get the name Pseudo Slang now?)—made its debut in 2004 with a thrown-together project called The Catalogue. So it only makes sense that We’ll Keep Looking feels like an album should, full of cohesion and a resonating theme.
It’s clear from the jump, also known as “Perfect Beat”, that this isn’t bound to be an album full of bangers or emotionally-charged rapping. Instead, over a smooth jazzy beat, you hear both Sick and Atlas spit mellow rhymes. And, at first, it’s slightly off-putting just how relaxed it all sounds. In fact, nothing flares up at all until several songs later on “Myth of a Web-Slinger”. Atlas’s raw yet vibrant, piano-laden beat and lively rapping seemed to have knocked the snooze-button in Sick’s brain as he spits a stellar verse. And it’s not like he had nothing to say across the headnodding “Bedouin” and “Yes Doubt”, but Sick just emanates inspiration on “Myth of a Web-Slinger”. He and Atlas bring similar heat to “Walkin’“and “Chill Out $”.
But even when Pseudo Slang’s rapping hits enjoyable heights, it’s easily overpowered by Atlas’s fantasticly fleshed-out production. While that shouldn’t appear to be a problem, it slowly becomes just that as the record continues. And that’s mostly because the rapping is just so damn laidback and, in Sick’s case, off-beat. This all becomes clear when you repeat certain tracks, such as the aforementioned “Walkin’” and lead single “Broke & Copasetic”, which has the sultry Vinia Mojica on the hook. We’ll Keep Looking is yet another example of an album that’s driven by its production. While it’s not necessarily bogged down by the rapping, it’s certainly not accelerated by it. And, as stated, that’s a damn shame, because this record had the chance of being a pseudo (no pun) classic full of smoky, jazz-lounge type tunes.