Sunday, November 20, 2011
Yelawolf "Radioactive" Album Review
Yelawolf's rapid lyrical assault is always a highlight, but its also his feerless-with-no-apologies attitude that I find refreshing. I was fully expecting a dope and grimey in-ya-face/bang this in your trunk-up the block type album, but was disappointed to instead hear a very polished typical "major" sound. I don't know enough about Yelawolf to call him a sellout, but it sure sounds like this entire album was constructed in the boardrooms of a major label instead of the mind of a lyrical genius bred in the Dirty South with the classic "Trunk Muzik" mixtape under his belt.
"Hard White" might enjoy some club success or maybe "Throw It Up" with the hook built for club chants, but the piano doesn't really fit well for clubs. The piano is real nice, but nice for listening at home - not so much in the club or bumpin up the block. "Good Girl" jumps off with a definite West Coast swing and the hook is dope as hell - this one might fit for radio (edited of course). "Made in the USA" really has a Kanye West vibe to the production; especially with the Priscilla Renea appearance and the strings. It's a cool track, but has that sound that you can get tired of real quick. "Animal" fits the same flavor. "Hardest Love Song in the World" is again the same mold and so is "Write Your Name". "Everything I Love the Most" is one of my top picks from the album but again is a very tame vibe. "Radio" is the damn same and by now I'm irritated with the album. I honestly wondered if this was a joke of some sort. Where the hell is the Yelawolf I heard the first time and instantly became a fan of? What's with all the polished production full of strings and pianos and tame drum kits and patterns? What's with all the damn singing features?
"Slumerican Shitizen" is the only track that really sounds like an authentic Yelawolf record with a real grimey attitude. I wasn't feelin' the Killer Mike feature and thought Yelawolf could have easily chopped him out of the record without losing any affect. That kind of sums up my overall take on the album - disapointment. If I want to hear dramatic emotional rap I can listen to Drake whine about not being hard enough or Em suffering through addiction and a shitty childhood or Kanye cry about not being liked, etc. If I want to listen to Yelawolf I'll go back to Trunk Muzik 0-60. This is not the Yelawolf I was expecting and definitely the Yelawolf I wanted to hear. Bring back that grimey southern rock/dirty south Hip-Hop blend with the "fuck yo' life" attitude and I'll be right back on the Yelawolf bandwagon...but this album shot the wheels off of all that.