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Releases of the Week: Brett Dennen and Jake One by zegoldst
October 28, 2008, 12:13 am
Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: , ,

Brett Dennen – Hope for the Hopeless

Brett Dennen’s true down-home charm and beautiful singing style shines on this album. He sticks with his mellow folk sound, which complements his soothing voice perfectly and allows him to focus on the music as it glides through each song, playing on his vocals. With lines like “is there a home for the homeless, is there hope for the hopeless” he is able to transcend the usual drivel that is pop songwriting.

On “Closer to You” Dennen sings about the love of his life while a smooth soulful organ and light piano back up a folksy guitar and drums lay way for Dennen’s soft voice. The song picks up and becomes more of a rhythmic force that seems to drive by itself, as Dennen seems to be singing in a trance.

Overall, this album contains some of the best folk music and singing I have heard in a while. Brett Dennen combines soul and folk to create an incredible atmosphere and when he teams up with Femi Kuti, only good things come from it.

Best Track: Wrong About Me

Jake One – White Van Music

Jake One has worked with hip-hop heroes from 50 Cent to MF Doom and everything in between. Despite his amazing collection of past work his Rhymesayers release is sub par. Even the all-star cast on this album can’t make these beats do anything other than sound repetitious and weak.

Jake One obviously moved away from the soulful grooves he once used on “The Grind Date” with De La Soul and moved into mediocre and meaningless banging. One exception is “The Truth” which features Brother Ali and Freeway who rap on a horn-filled bass moving track. Both emcees are on their game and they do everything they can do to tear the whole beat apart. This track kisses the past of the genius that is Jake One.

Overall, this album doesn’t do this producer justice and he should probably stick to producing others as opposed to trying to express his own personality. This album features familiar friends and a Rhymesayers line-up that would make any true fan drool but just doesn’t deliver. Jake One didn’t come out to play but his features did.

Best Track: The Truth, featuring Freeway and Brother Ali

-Zach Goldstein

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