This album is the second in a series of albums that Aceyalone decided to do as experiments in crossing other genres with hip hop, which started with 2007’s Lighting Strikes, his foray into reggae. While reggae is not the oddest direction to take hip hop (the family tree doesn’t split that far back), I had to pause when I heard that this album with be Acey’s experiment with doo-wop. This isn’t as quite a natural fit, and it takes a little bit of finagling to make it work. Unfortunately, Aceyalone and producer Bionik don’t find a way to make it work for a large part of the album, with awkward drum shuffles, falsetto choruses, bad Diana Ross spoken intros, and cheesy lyrics about car and girls. On a few tracks, they decided to go in a James Brown late ‘60s direction, and both the music and the emcee become much stronger. They also try some Bo Diddley on “To the Top (Remix)” that works fairly well, but these are all small bright spots on an album that is overall a failure. It really bothers me to this, since I’ve enjoyed much of Aceyalone’s previous work, and the idea of a doo-wop/hip hop album is really intriguing. Unfortunately, for some reason, when Acey and Bionik listened to this album back, they settled with the idea they had instead of pushing themselves to really make it work well. Boo.
|Title:||Aceyalone - Aceyalone & The Lonely Ones|