RJD2 Nails Colossus Proportions
The COLOSSUS album review
Contributing Writer : Rashon A. Massey, “15sec FAME” blog
From what I gathered in research, many critics gave RJD2 a lot of crap over The Third Hand, the last studio release dropped back in 07. Now instead of comparing the last album to the latest RJD2 release, The Colossus, and highlight how the sound has improved or gone further down the ‘critic’ rabbit-hole, I am going to give you my honest opinion of this recording as it stands.
And isn’t that what album reviews should be about anyway?
Imagine if I were to compare the person you were three years ago to the person you are today, publicly assaulting you on whether you have made the kind of progress I would like to witness. Is that fair? Then why should we accept that from music critics? I believe the process in creating recordings is something uniquely special; moreover, sharing those emotions and feelings with a mass audience is really an open conversation- a direct dialogue from artist to you. Now to trash a new album simply because it is not what I liked to hear from an artist years prior would say more about me (as a reviewer/critic) than the artist themselves, in my opinion. Think about it. That person is attempting to draw negative attention towards a musician where the truth lays within the speaker. Isn’t it them [critic] who has not grown, accepted change or advanced in their sound? If they had, then they must accept music evolves too, understanding we must critique in the moment and not live in the past.
That brings my commentary and album review back to The Colossus proportion.
What RJD2 has done with this recording is the same thing Beck repeats time and time again through reinventing his signature style. The best features of a phenomenal talent re-imagining a world in which they created and brought to you rises from an experience totally new and aesthetically pleasing, unveiling an exciting realm of familiar possibilities and brand new colors.
With a florescent splash of pink, orange and brass tinted gold, RJD2 begins The Colossus with “Let There Be Horns,” a hip-rockin, head nodding dance track that fits comfortably in your earbuds extending from a pocketed iPod in your pants. It is a solid track that can provide both the background noise accompanying your mindless internet searching to an advance state of theory, even pleasing the parents who still wonder what happened to real music. This opener has gnarly-thrashing guitar riffs lighting steps towards horn touting climaxes repeatedly. A drum rhythm that grabs you by the toes and makes you smile immediately when you hear the consciously placed applauses added at the end of the track. Indeed, a job well done.
Inviting GRAMMY nominated artist Kenna to the party, RJD2 takes us to “Games You Can Win,” a R&B groove that rises like easy cigarette smoke from track 2 off the album. Kenna smoothly melts your anxiety of the day with Ray Charles, simple harmonies laid upon one another. Kenna has the old school voice we’ve come to adore from master producer and artist Pharrell Williams of N.E.R.D. and The Neptunes. RJD2 takes us to the after hours, dark backroom of the club with this track, creating the VIP room that still makes cocktails past the legal hours of selling liquor in your state. Fading to oblivion just as cool as it began, RJD2 lets you know this album is going to be a ride through variant styles that Ramble John knows best.
The “Giant Squid” which is track 3 lands somewhere between track 1 and 2 in terms of style, production and sound, and around 50 seconds in, you get a true sense and realize what the rest of the album will hold- A musical journey through someone who clearly appreciates jazz and moments probably not too tense during these times in life. You hear an artist inviting you to explore and reevaluate your own taste buds of the musical palette you’ve come to accept, almost challenging the last album naysayers with forward concepts and progressions of tomorrows hit anthems.
If you’re feeling right about there after track 3, then John Krohn wants to reaffirm you are getting the point of The Colossus message at hand, doing a vocal feat becoming popular in the spin community – talking directly to you. We hear it in Deadmau5 all the time, and with track 4′s “Salud 2,” the album blends samples from every track of The Colossus, bringing the beginning journey into full accord while transitioning to the heart of the album in one seamless effect.
Not to blow the rest of the album in too many details, I will say stream it and experience The Colossus effect all on your own. On the right panel of TheRFW.com, a free download of “Games You Can Win” is available; moreover, the full album can be streamed for your enjoyment. I know you don’t want to spend all your precious time listening to the music here, so I encourage you to pop-out the player and experience the music as you surf the web…and keep it on the low end of the volume register. Let it just coast out the speakers.
You might agree this album flows just like track 5 toots in the title. The Colossus is “The Glow” that resonates as an easy-listening, thoughtfully produced recording which can be blasted to feel the drum heavy tracks laden with sonically solid, speaker popping techniques of today’s modern, forward-thinking music. I give this album my full recommendation. I get exactly where RJD2 is right now with The Colossus state of mind; moreover, this album puts you right there with Ramblin John Krohn, and to feel a warm, colossus glow inside just might be what you need this winter season.