3 May, 2010@6:57 am
Basic Vocab is a three man group consisting of Miami, Florida natives: Mental Growth, JL Sorrell and producer Tony Galvin. Their 2006 debut album The General Dynamic was throwback that took the listener back to the “golden age” of hip-hop. On A Better Way, their second full release, BV again takes the listener back to a time of feel good music.
A Better Way comes fully loaded with 21 tracks, flowing with straight up tracks mixed in with a few beat snippets. The album begins with the ho-hum track “Classic”, a decent, but not mind blowing track. Luckily, BV quickly picks up their energy with the dope “Just Dance”, a high energy, feel good track perfect for any summer barbeque. The positives continue with the standout track “Prescription”. Galvin kills it with a mix of funky drums, bouncy cuts and a sample that grabs the listener’s soul and brings definite satisfaction. As A Better Way continues with the bouncy “Push It to The Side”, BV begins to lock the listener in.The vibe continues as A Better Way, takes you to a zone of relaxation with “There You Are”. The next track “Chill” immediately takes the listener back to the mid 90’s golden age with its lead in drums and continues perfectly.
As the listener hits the midpoint, BV keeps the party moving; both with the smooth “Keep It Simple” and “Club Music”. The consistency of A Better Way is powerful and BV does not try to reinvent itself during the course of the album. Tracks such as: “Tears”, “I Said It” and the title track “A Better Way” are all strong and do not stray at all from the vibe of the album.Other tracks such as “Why You Do Me Like That”, “Hot To Death”, “Like A Star” are decent, but not spectacular. These tracks are worth listening to, but won’t blow the listener away. The only real skippable track on A Better Way, is the boring “Sit On Down”, a minor misstep.
As described earlier, A Better Way also features four snippets that help to lead the listener into tracks. While this is great and everything, all of the snippets are ridiculously dope, but are inexplicably not used as full songs. As an aside, “Snippet 4″ is an amazingly bouncy and soulful beat that is wasted as a lead in.
Overall, A Better Way is a strong second release by BV with no hint of a sophomore slump. And even though it starts out a little slow, the album quickly gains steam and takes the listener home with very few stops. Basic Vocab has found A Better Way and it’s a path that should be followed.
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