Pseudo Slang: We'll Keep Looking

We'll Keep Looking features some of the finest jazz-hop production of the past few years. It's just a shame the rapping on here doesn't stack up.

Pseudo Slang

We'll Keep Looking

Label: Fat Beats
US Release Date: 2009-06-02
UK Release Date: 2009-07-20

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.






A Certain Ratio Return with a Message of Hope on 'ACR Loco'

Inspired by 2019's career-spanning box set, legendary Manchester post-punkers A Certain Ratio return with their first new album in 12 years, ACR Loco.


Oscar Hijuelos' 'Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love' Dances On

Oscar Hijuelos' dizzyingly ambitious foot-tapping family epic, Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love, opened the door for Latinx writers to tell their stories in all their richness.


PM Picks Playlist 2: Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES, SOUNDQ

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES' stunning dream folk, Polish producer SOUNDQ, the indie pop of Pylon Heights, a timely message from Exit Kid, and Natalie McCool's latest alt-pop banger.


'Lost Girls and Love Hotels' and Finding Comfort in Sadness

William Olsson's Lost Girls and Love Hotels finds optimism in its message that life tears us apart and puts us back together again differently.


Bright Eyes' 'Down in the Weeds' Is a Return to Form and a Statement of Hope

Bright Eyes may not technically be emo, but they are transcendently expressive, beatifically melancholic. Down in the Weeds is just the statement of grounding that we need as a respite from the churning chaos around us.


Audrey Hepburn + Rome = Grace, Class, and Beauty

William Wyler's Roman Holiday crosses the postcard genre with a hardy trope: Old World royalty seeks escape from stuffy, ritual-bound, lives for a fling with the modern world, especially with Americans.


Colombia's Simón Mejía Plugs Into the Natural World on 'Mirla'

Bomba Estéreo founder Simón Mejía electrifies nature for a different kind of jungle music on his debut solo album, Mirla.


The Flaming Lips Reimagine Tom Petty's Life in Oklahoma on 'American Head'

The Flaming Lips' American Head is a trip, a journey to the past that one doesn't want to return to but never wants to forget.


Tim Bowness of No-Man Discusses Thematic Ambition Amongst Social Division

With the release of his seventh solo album, Late Night Laments, Tim Bowness explores global tensions and considers how musicians can best foster mutual understanding in times of social unrest.


Angel Olsen Creates a 'Whole New Mess'

No one would call Angel Olsen's Whole New Mess a pretty album. It's much too stark. But there's something riveting about the way Olsen coos to herself that's soft and comforting.


What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .


Masma Dream World Go Global and Trippy on "Sundown Forest" (premiere)

Dancer, healer, musician Devi Mambouka shares the trippy "Sundown Forest", which takes listeners deep into the subconscious and onto a healing path.


Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" Is an Ode for Unity in Troubling Times (premiere)

Alright Alright's "Don't Worry" is a gentle, prayerful tune that depicts the heart of their upcoming album, Crucible.


'What a Fantastic Death Abyss': David Bowie's 'Outside' at 25

David Bowie's Outside signaled the end of him as a slick pop star and his reintroduction as a ragged-edged arty agitator.


Dream Folk's Wolf & Moon Awaken the Senses with "Eyes Closed" (premiere)

Berlin's Wolf & Moon are an indie folk duo with a dream pop streak. "Eyes Closed" highlights this aspect as the act create a deep sense of atmosphere and mood with the most minimal of tools.


Ranking the Seasons of 'The Wire'

Years after its conclusion, The Wire continues to top best-of-TV lists. With each season's unique story arc, each viewer is likely to have favorites.


Paul Reni's Silent Film 'The Man Who Laughs' Is Serious Cinema

There's so much tragedy present, so many skullduggeries afoot, and so many cruel and vindictive characters in attendance that a sad and heartbreaking ending seems to be an obvious given in Paul Reni's silent film, The Man Who Laughs.


The Grahams Tell Their Daughter "Don't Give Your Heart Away" (premiere)

The Grahams' sweet-sounding "Don't Give Your Heart Away" is rooted in struggle, inspired by the couples' complicated journey leading up to their daughter's birth.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.