Sound Advice: Play Anything

[18 September 2006]

By Quentin B. Huff

Quite frankly, I didn’t believe the title of Sound Advice’s mixtape album, Play Anything, could actually mean the group was willing to literally play anything. The group consists of two New York DJ’s, K. Ross and Elsewhere, with diverse musical tastes and interests.  But calling the tracks “diverse” might be the understatement of the year.  To truly understand what Play Anything is all about, you must know that it features five tracks, and five tracks only (“It’s Easy”, “Hey My Brother”, “You Must Chill”, “Them Think They Know”, and “I’m Happy To Say”). However, each track is a mixture of other songs that blend together in true DJ fashion. Together, the songs clock in at slightly less than an hour. What this means, ultimately, is that if you didn’t believe these DJ’s would play absolutely anything in a single mix, you’ll definitely be convinced after you endure a 14-minute track that blends elements of OutKast’s “Rosa Parks” with P.M. Dawn’s “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss” before it segues into Sam & Dave’s “Soul Man”, Slick Rick’s “Mona Lisa”, Spoonie Gee’s “The Godfather”, and as it merges with—get this—portions of INXS’s “Need You Tonight”, Run DMC’s “Peter Piper”, and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Cecilia”. On the plus side, you can have a great time wondering what tune will pop up next (the track listing appears on their website) and marveling at the effortless song transitions.  On the first track, I was astounded at how smoothly Sam Cooke’s “You Send Me” morphed into The Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian”. The big minus, though, is all of this blending becomes tiresome. There isn’t a discernable theme among the selected tracks and, after awhile, the novelty of merging various music genres wears thin (like when MC Breed’s “Ain’t No Future in Yo Frontin’” yields to Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”). In a club, with lots of dancing and plenty to drink, Play Anything would keep the party in gear. But on CD, it’s not quite as cool.

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