4 March, 2011@3:55 pm
“This ain’t no lyrical, miracle, chop your head off… none of that shit.”
Those words punctuate the introduction of Murs and Terrace Martin’s collaborative effort, Murs and Terrace Martin Are… Melrose. While the Living Legend is certainly capable of getting deep with it, as evidenced by his collaborative efforts with 9th Wonder, this isn’t one of those times. In place of the “chop your head off” rhymes that seem to dominate much of the independent and underground scene, Murs and Martin opt for the laid back and carefree – the very thing that people think of when the words “Southern” and “California” are put together in dialog.
The beauty of Melrose is its simplicity. What you see is what you get. Lead single “Fresh Kicks” isn’t a witty metaphor, it’s an ode to fresh kicks and those who love them. If your love for Queen Latifah inspired, “UNITY” type rhymes trumps all, your love for the album likely ends here as both men toss around “bitch” and its many derivatives like a father and son playing catch on a Sunday afternoon. But this is where the pair are at their best. The topic of love, lust, loss and everything take center stage on the album. “She’s A Prostitute” finds Murs offering a weighty and comical defense of porn stars and other ladies of the night, blasting women who condemn sex workers but give it up for free. Elsewhere, “She’s A Loser” is an ode to less than stellar chicks. Instead of just going in on the shortcomings of its subjects, Terrace and Murs turn the spotlight on themselves, saying they’re just as big of losers as the girls they love (Murs for “licking porn stars pussy” on the Internet and Martin for having three or four mothers for his kids). Not politically correct by any means, but a hilarious ride.
Where the action slows down and tries to get introspective, the jokes do not. The pair play the roles of good boyfriend (Murs) and deadbeat dad (Martin) on “Thank You.” Things take a slightly – but not too serious – turn with the final two tracks “Doin Me” and “Hands In The Sky,” but neither song detracts from the feel good flow present through the rest of the album.
At the end of the day, Melrose is a hit because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’ll be a welcome addition to anyone in need of a soundtrack for their spring break or summer.
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