Album: Animal 2000
Label: Tru Reign Records
Rating: 4.5 / 10
Reviewer: A to the L
Some of you may remember way back in 1992 a cat called ADOR had major MTV air play with a Pete Rock produced cut called ‘Let It All Hang Out’. What you probably don’t know is that ADOR followed up the success of that single with a album called ‘The Concrete’ at Atlantic Records, but the album was never commercially released. This prompted him to form his own label Tru Reign in 1996. His officially released debut album ‘Shock Frequency’ followed and achieved huge critical success. Animal 2000 is ADOR’s sophomore effort on his Tru Reign label. The memory of those classic cuts (‘Let It All Hang Out’ and ‘One For The Trouble’) combined with big names like Diamond D and Trackmasterz providing production for some cuts on this album meant I had high expectations before even pressing play.
Unfortunately the album did not live up to my expectations. The opening tracks of the album ‘Forever Lifeflow’, ‘Animal 2000’ and ‘Treasures’ fail to make much of an impact at all. ‘Forever Lifeflow’ has a distinctly unoriginal Terror Squad-ish feel about it, with it’s ghostly piano sound, ‘Animal 2000’ has an unimaginative repetitive hi-hat break, while ‘Treasures’ whining electric guitar lick makes the song seem kind of dull. All of this is combined with ADOR’s somewhat over-simplistic rhyme style that will make you wonder what happened to those skills you remember so well from ‘Let It All Hang Out’.
However there are a few shining moments on the album. The track ‘Superfly’ combines the smooth and dreamy production of the strangely named Purple Penguin with a solid lyrical performance from ADOR. It’s catchy hook and smooth R’n’B feel will make it a surefire hit in clubs and with radio stations. It is a far cry from the album’s three bland opening tracks.
The track ‘Retro Wreck’ comes like a breath of fresh air after the disappointing tracks of before. Trackmasterz provide a thick bassline with classic horns and whistles that take you all the way back to the old skool. ADOR’s fast, lively rhyme on this joint puts his straight-forward style to it’s best use. It all combines to produce a great feeling of nostalgia and one of the far and away best tracks on the album. Bound to become the album’s token club banger!
Strangely though the highlight of the whole album is not thanks to ADOR, despite it being both his album and label. Instead it comes in the form of two appearances from a pretty much unknown MC from the Tru Reign camp called K Terrorbul. He gets a whole cut to himself on the album – obviously ADOR’s attempt to give a new talent some exposure. The song ‘Cock’d Back’ is a catchy bounce track produced by D.I.T.C. veteran Diamond D. The song is perfect for the hard and fast rhyme skills of K Terrorbul who comes off with some sweet lines that makes this song one of the album’s best. He appears again on the track ‘Metropolis Wizards’ where he follows ADOR’s verse and frankly blows him out of the water with a harder edged rhyme that would do a seasoned rap professional proud. ‘Metropolis Wizards’ also stands out on the album as the best track where the production has been provided by ADOR himself.
The tracks mentioned above aside, the majority of the tracks on the album are somewhat mediocre and really don’t grab the listener’s attention like they should. ADOR’s lyrics do not show the skill that we have heard from him previously, but if K Terrorbul is representative of the kind of talent that the Tru Reign camp is going to be producing then it might be an idea to keep an eye out for further releases from this label in the future.