After the Pharcyde disbanded, many of the members chose to pursue solo ventures, but had a very hard time coming close to the success that came with albums like Bizarre Ride and Labcabincalifornia. Tre Hardson, AKA Slim Kid Tre, is one of those members whose career floundered about trying to reclaim some of the magic from years past. With Tre’s next outing, entitled Slimkid3′s Cafe, he goes in a direction that may throw some listeners off, but is definitely something he feels comfortable with.
Tre Hardson is still “Slim Kid” at the core, but without the Pharcyde surrounding him, you get a whole lotta Tre, which is a swift departure from his last outing. Most of the time Tre is switching from singer to rapper, embarking on a musical journey that aims to please women lounging in the smoky confines of his “cafe”, while puffing a spliff. “Champagne Wishes” is just one of those easy going tracks that floats about without interrupting any diabolical thoughts the listener may have. “Doreen” is another outing that groove’s about at melancholy pace, but after about 7 tracks you may think “Damn….there’s a lot of R&B vocals on here that aren’t Tre!” And you are right! 90% of the album has a heavy R&B influence complete with a songstress belting out vocals. And it grows a bit tiresome after 2 or 3 tracks, let alone 12.
The production is lacking greatly as well. With Hardson and his crew of unknown producers providing the backdrop, the results seem very underproduced and lazy. It’s not bad; just a bit boring. And for many Pharcyde fans who choose to cling to that lone line to the “She Says” days, Slimkid3′s Cafe lacks tremendously. Not enough tempo shifts may cause drowsiness and possibly a dream or two. Once again, the album isn’t wack…. it just provides the same effect of a couple doses of Nyquil.
Tre isn’t a wack lyricist or songwriter, but Slimkid3′s Cafe is just one of those albums that doesn’t do enough to keep the listener interested. Especially given the expectations that come from a member of one of the west coast’s more successful groups, this LP falls very short. Maybe its time they step it up or give it up, because we know the potential is there. It’s just frustrating that the glory days can’t be reclaimed through this album.
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