Artist: Lone Catalysts
Album: Good Music
Label: B.U.K.A. Entertainment
Rating: 5 / 10
Reviewer: Nick D
Maybe it €™s just me, but I would almost rather listen to a terrible album than one that is bland in every sense of the word. That being said, I am obviously not contending that a bad record is somehow better than an average one. Instead, I am saying that a non-polarizing, sterile record is, to me, harder to listen to than an album that at least catalyzes some feeling in the listener, no matter how negative the feeling may be.
Exhibit A for my case may just be the Lone Catalysts €™ €œGood Music, € which, right down to the uncreative yet not entirely inaccurate album title, embodies this principle to the fullest extent. Made up of the generically nicknamed J. Rawls and J. Sands, the Lone Catalysts struggle to elicit any kind of audience sentiment for the duration of their latest release leaving much to be desired both in terms of lyrics and production.
J. Rawls, who handles the production on €œGood Music, € uses the album as a vehicle to reexamine, replay, and totally exhaust almost every cliche hip-hop beat/ambience out there. This is evident from the beginning as he jumps from the religious/epic theme, to more playful Digable Planets-like production, and then to a Latin music inspired sound all within the first three songs on the album. Normally, diversity of this kind is a plus, but because Rawls €™s style is indistinguishable from that of any other two-bit producer out there, each track is tiresome instead of refreshing.
The lyricism of J. Sands is equally as boring. Outdone by each and every guest act on the album (which include Wordsworth and Masta Ace), J. Sands is completely irrelevant as a serious MC. Take for example the opening verse on €˜Taboo €™:
€œ…But the world can seem more scandalous than an evangelist
A lotta people can €™t handle it
It €™s like the News on Channel 6
I bring it to you like an analyst
Passin €™ the torch, keepin €™ the candle lit €
While Sands at least understands the concept of multi-syllabic rhymes, this is certainly as advanced as he gets. Likewise, his metaphors and punch lines never get more complex than the excerpt above. Sands, then, is not absolutely dreadful as an MC, but he says nothing mind-blowing either. Outside of €˜100 Bar Dash, €™ the posse track reminiscent of old Rawkus mixtapes, the lyrics on the album are all throwaways.
€œGood Music € is strange in that if it were on in the background, it would probably not bother the dormant listener. When actively examining the music, however, one quickly becomes annoyed with the utter lack of personality presented. The tracks are painfully average leaving the listener desperate for something either positive or negative with which to form an actual opinion. Because of this, €œGood Music € is better off completely ignored, save for the several worthwhile verses from guest MC s.