US - California - Full Moon 105 - 04/24/05
Fear of a Black Tangent
He's been busy. Last year's "Cosmic Cleavage" was a hit. And now just a few months later we have 17 new steaming hott tracks. In "Happiness('s a Unit of Measure) Freestyle", Busdriver confronts life's problems. Except for the Dolly Parton samples, there's a seriousness to this song that I'm not used to from Busdriver. He spits thousands of words a minute, not just leaving the listener behind, but reassuring her that she will have to listen to these songs a lot of times to understand them. Hooks are understated and beats are like a cold day in December. "Avant Core" lets a little of the steam pressure off though. His clowne-towne singing is less than serious. The beat in this song is good, but like every other part of this song, it takes a while for it to hit you. But it does. It's good that he makes fun of the music journalist in this song. Busdriver sings again in "Wormholes". Then he spits. "I'm an early 90s anachranism". He might be referring to his herstoric stint in Project Blowed.
Words just roll out of him. And you will likely get lost in this album. "Get your little puny mind, your little miniscule thoughts mapped out. We've mapped your psyche, we know what you do". He's funny in "Cool Band Buzz" and "Note Boom". "Hey! Hey! I was in a hip-hop-hair band". "Low Flying Winged Books" is the first truely great song on the record (to me). Instead of just marble-mouthing, here he uses such things as imagery and pedal tones! Fuck yeah. More of this type of shit. This song overshadows everything else on the album so far. "Befriend the Friendless Friendster" (more talk about hipsters, but Busdriver's not a hipster [or is he]) has a pop sensibility. It's a good choice for following "Low Flying Winged Books". "Sphinx's Coonery" is another smart song, the rapping some of its best on "Fear of a Black Tangent". The chorus, he sings: "the world cannot be saved, children". "Lefty's Lament" is full of those hip references: Liz Phair? Why mention her at all. "Why do you hate me, cause my newest release isn't on Ninjatune or is it my on-going fling with Reese Witherspoon?" (they rhyme, but goddamn). The references certainly grow tired by the end of this record. He really likes those for some reason. "Rappers say the darndest things that you'll ever hear".
"[Silence]" is 1:04 of silence before the remixes, whcih are done by D-styles, Prefuse 73, and Nobody. This is a challanging record and certainly one that is worth getting lost in. Not a "Great Record" persay, but it's good. I'd say to Busdriver: spent more time on the next one, and more of "Low Flying Wing Books"'s sensibility. Just to impress me, though.
Postscript: usually don't f with pitchfork, but this is informative,
and that's a good picture of him.
Copyright © 2005 Bill Banks