REVIEW: Fayce – F.A.Y.C.E.

F.A.Y.C.E.

Artist: Fayce

Album: F.A.Y.C.E.

Label: mp3.com

Rating: 5 / 10

Reviewer: A to the L

Many of the newsgroup heads will already be aware of Fayce due to the fact that alt.rap regular Timid is his producer. Fayce has went the mp3.com route of releasing his music, and I received a copy for review recently. Claiming to be influenced by Jigga, Pac, and Biggie among others, and testifying to a love of reggae music as well, Fayce’s 9 track debut certainly sounds promising on paper. Let see if it stands up to an A to the L audio test…

The first thing that has to be noted is that Fayce has got lyrics for days! From the first cut ‘Fact Still Remains’ he sets out to blaze the mic. Backed up by rhyme colleague Diamond Back from Original Sin, there’s certainly no shortage of confidence on the mic, as this is almost four and a half minutes of continuous rhyming. I felt that the production was a little bit bland here though – a saxaphone break weakly tries to overcome a soft guitar routine. There’s no switch to this for the entire song, and I felt it was a little easy to lose touch with the lyrics because of the average production. Maybe even a chorus thrown in would held to break things up a little?

‘Sweet Dreamz’ is a posse cut reminiscient of Wu-Tang’s ‘Protect Ya Neck’. A thumping uptempo beat dominates the track as Fayce, Hugo G and Kaos AFON trade verses. Again though I felt that the beat, although starting strongly, got a bit monotonous after a while, and started to detract from the lyrics.

‘Dizaster’ is the third track of the album, and one of four produced by Sir Sparks. The actual production here is stronger than the previous two – a short orchestral break flits in and out over a snare heavy beat.

‘FAYCE’ is a departure from the last three Sir Sparks produced joints – featuring some nice female vocals on the hook. The actual construction of the song is much better – verse-chorus-verse-chorus etc does help to hold the listener’s ear much better than a frantic 4 minute rhyme routine.

The next five tracks are produced by Timid, and the difference in production techniques is like day and night. Where Sparks seems to rely on heavy beats, Timid’s beats are more musical – take ‘You Drive Me Wild’ as an example. With a definite summery Caribbean flavour, and a nice female hook this is one of the better cuts on the album.

‘I’ll Never Know’ features a catchy violin hook and another snappy snare drum. Unfortunately Fayce’s delivery here is extremely monotone, he sounds disinterested here. Timid comes in and drops a verse that raises the temperature a little, and the chorus is strangely addictive, but overall I was disappointed – basically Fayce wasted this beat.

‘Beats For The Streets II’ is a strange one indeed. It switches the last track a little bit, but not enough to make it obvious that its the same beat. The flow here, to me at least, is off beat too. I’m not impressed with this one.

‘Live And Die’ luckily raises the standard again. Timid’s production here is sick – dark orchestral samples over a fat bassline as a haunting violin slides over a nice horn break. This is a winner.

The final cut is a revisit to ‘You Drive Me Wild’ – but I can’t really tell any difference between this (The Show Mix) and the original.

OK so I’ve had a run through the tracks – but whats the verdict on the emcee? To be honest Fayce is ok – there’s nothing really there to make him standout from the crowd. He can flow for sure, and he’s got some nice lyrics, but I thought his delivery became markedly more monotone as the album progressed. I think part of the problem might be that he’s aiming a little too high to begin with. F.A.Y.C.E. means For All You Cats Everywhere – he’s trying to do too many varied styles, and be too many things to everyone. I’d suggest improving his delivery, and making it sound like he’s enjoying himself a little more. Loosen up.

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