Rootbeer Floats for All

[rating:6.5/10]

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Critics seems to have little nice to say about the new EP from LA Symphony alumns, Pigeon John and Flynn Adam. Together, this duo is calling themselves Rootbeer and their EP entitled Pink Limousine seems to express their desire to create fun dance rap for the masses, ala The Black Eyed Peas. While neither is a stranger to creating hip hop for people to bump at parties, it seems as if the critics wanted something more, notably from the typically insightful lyricist, Pigeon John. Some criticisms note that the duo have thrown aside their unique ability to partner thoughtfulness with clever delivery and opted for simple, “Fergie-like” generic delivery. Others go as far as to call it one of the worst albums of 2009. I, however, wouldn’t go as far as the critics. It’s not the genius I hoped it would be, but it sure is enjoyable.

Pigeon is one of my favorite MCs, maybe even my absolute favorite MC… but he’s not at his best here. While still better than most, his rhymes seem less pensive that usual (as the critics have been saying) and the overall feel of the album is not what I’ve come to expect from PJ. His rhymes are still quite clever, though. Specifically, the pop-culture references are poignant and the rhymes are still far from generic. If I weren’t expecting this EP to be pure genius, I would have been pleasantly surprised rather than slightly disappointed.

The hook on “Girlies” is extremely catchy. This is probably my favorite track, although 3 of the 5 on the EP are more than worthy of many a future mixtape: “Girlies”, “Under Control”, and “So Good”. “Girlies” jumps out to me immediately, but “Under Control” has a good Outkast/Gnarls Barkley feel to it that I expect would be quite popular if it hit the airwaves. The tune reminds me somewhat of Smashmouth, although I’m not exactly sure why. “So Good” is the only track on here that sounds like a Pigeon John track to me, which is probably what attracts me most to it. It has the laid back Cali style that made me fall for PJ’s solo releases and John’s brand of sing-song delivery shines through.

The other two tracks, “Chimpanzee” and “Pink Limousine” are fun party tracks, but little more than that. I referenced The Black Eyed Peas above, these are the tracks that make that a very legit comparison. This isn’t a bad thing, comparably. Both tracks are fun, would be great to hear at a club or a dance party, but lack the depth that I’ve come to expect from John and others in the LA Symph crew. This isn’t to say that I’ve been skipping these tracks as I listen to the EP, either. They are enjoyable.

PJ’s most recent full length, …And the Summertime Pool Party is one of the best hip hop albums I’ve ever listened to, and thus, the bar for this release was quite high. While is fell short, it’s still a collection of 5 good dance rap tracks, with hints of brilliance here and there. Worth 5 bucks on iTunes and definitely worth checking out live, but not quite enough to hold me over until the next Pigeon John release.

~ by thepaintedman on July 23, 2009.

5 Responses to “Rootbeer Floats for All”

  1. […] 4. Rootbeer – Girlies (Rootbeer revie can be read here) […]

  2. […] on each other’s releases and creating interesting work together, with the latest being Rootbeer. Is there anything in particular by other members of the crew that has blown you away in the past […]

  3. […] not fly at all. I mean, think of all the great names that my favorite MCs go by: Beefy, Mos Def, Pigeon John, Uno Mas, Blackthought, CookBook, MC Frontalot, thekeenone… but what to name […]

  4. […] 4 solo EPs in a years time while finding time to squeeze in a project with Pigeon John called Rootbeer. But if you’ve had a busy year, maybe you’ve somehow missed all of this… perhaps […]

  5. […] fans of: Furthermore, Pigeon John, MC Frontalot, and […]

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