Album Review: Lazerbeak: "Legend Recognize Legend" [2010]

Lazerbeak: Legend Recognize Legend [2010]
Grade: A
Recommened Tracks: Dream Team, Let It Go, Wild Life
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota

[First a shout-out: Thanks to Matt for the kind intro, for inviting me to the discussion of music on this blog, and also for making fun of my huge hands.  Over the years, I've had the pleasure of knowing some great friends who love nothing more than listening to and talking about music --you know who you are, and if you're reading this, you're a good friend indeed-- and I hope that contributing to this site can be a fun extension of that.  There's just something fun and simple about sharing albums you love with other folks who might dig them as well.]

Anways... this album came out last September, but I keep coming back to it, and just can't get it out of my head.  This dude's an indie rap producer [P.O.S., Doomtree] and an indie rock prodigy [Plastic Constellations], and for some odd reason he's decided to arrange some gorgeous pop songs for his solo debut.  I have no clue why rock + rap would add up to pop, but here's the proof.  It's a gorgeous combination of sounds and melodies, and a definite "A" grade according to the rigorous and thoughtful grading standards of the Indie Actuary.  So, I thought it would be a great album for me to get started with here on the blog.

As far as I can tell, the keys to success here are the drums, the [mostly] spoken velvety vocals by Lazerbeak himself, the group vocals swaying behind him, and the rich arrangements of god-knows-what instruments on top of and throughout it all.  It's so rich and smooth and easy to listen to, and curls up inside your head to stay for a while.  The whole first half of the album is catchy as hell, but doesn't immediately remind me of anything else I've heard before -- that's probably the biggest compliment you can pay to a pop album, I suppose.  To me it's a pretty fresh take on combining beats and choruses and layers of sounds, and it just doesn't get old, despite many listens.  Perhaps it's a 2010 take on the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds"...?

I love Lazerbeak's production and instrumentation on P.O.S.'s 2009 album "Never Better", but where that album was driving and insistent and raw, this solo effort is laid-back, fluffy, and uplifting, without being corny in any way.  His low-toned voice keeps the music all grounded.  It's quite the contrast, and rather impressive that it all came from the same mind.

I would recommend the album for fans of the Minneapolis hip-hop scene in general, P.O.S., or anyone interested in a catchy take on indie pop music that's not pretentious or all nasally-sounding in any way.  It's a great blending of genres and sounds that you can't quite put your finger on, but can't stop from nodding your head to.

Take a listen on his Myspace page for yourself, or check out the video for "Let It Go" below, and let us know what you think... [I assume no responsibility for his coat in this video].


7:38 PM