20 Watts

Releases of the Week, Week 5: The Black Crowes and Rakim by 20watts
March 7, 2008, 12:03 am
Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: , ,

The Black Crowes – Warpaint

All controversy aside, The Black Crowes still have it. After their first release in 1990, nobody could have seen this band becoming one of the most memorable in the rock community. They sound the same, which is so refreshing these days when every group wants to “do something different.” The guitar tone is amazing and very reminiscent of The Rolling Stones and sometimes even The Allman Brothers with its down south, honky-tonk slide style.
Also, I am very happy that the Crowes have been getting all the attention they have because of the Maxim “issue.” This mess has actually turned out to be a positive for them and I wouldn’t be surprised if this increased record sales and attention to the band’s new release.
Even without that, this album is very satisfying to say the least. Chris Robinson still has the gruff yet fitting voice for the band’s sound. He hasn’t tried to go beyond his range or be any more than another instrument in the band. Overall, this album contains everything that an album should. It may not be one of the top albums for 2008 but it’s still solid – it was worth waiting for and it shows their passion.
Best Track: “Wee Who See the Deep”

Rakim – The Archive: Live, Lost & Found

Rakim is best known for his duo work with Eric B. on Paid In Full. This album does not live up to his legend but it does show a different side of Rakim – one that fits well in this hip-hop day and age.

The Archive is a mix of live and never released tracks. I like the four studio tracks. The production is good and he obviously put a lot of work into them though in my opinion they fall a little short. As far as the live tracks go I have always been a fan of live hip-hop as well, but Rakim doesn’t shine. I’m not really sure what’s missing but I would rather hear these tracks without the live crowd. The usual crowd energy isn’t there until the second half of the album. The tracks are all good but I would rather see it than hear it.
His flow is unique though and there is still a style to him that isn’t found in many other rappers. Overall, the album may be a little disappointing but I commend Rakim on trying to get out of his 80’s legend.
Best Track: “Juice (Know the Ledge) [Live]”
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