Retisonic is Joe Gorelick and Jason Farrell, a combination of an experienced drummer and a talented guitarist/vocalist.
Their six-song debut is titled Lean Beat; a name they hope defines Retisonic’s style and approach (lean arrangements/leaning forward with the beat).
Sadly, the lean music is less than filling for a hungry aural appetite.
Retisonic struggles to evoke musical flashbacks.
Echoes of bands like Cheap Trick, the Police, KISS, Fugazi and The Who can all be heard while listening to the album.
This proves to be more annoying than enjoyable. Retisonic should strive for originality, and not some warped tribute.
The first two songs, “Caught in the Act” and “Maligned,” are the strongest links in a rather weak chain of tracks. Both start off powerful, with glimmers of possibility.
But by the time the CD stumbles to “First Night of a Year Long Mistake,” a musical whiplash effect occurs.
Too many ideas and styles are crammed into lean arrangements, leaving the album without direction.
Retisonic has talent, and hopefully their next offering rebounds with improved lyrics, originality and production.
Man vs Machine
Man vs Machine represents a struggle within Xzibit. He wants Nelly dough, but KRS respect as well.
The title represents a battle between his lyrical freedom and the business. Can he make a hardcore record without succumbing to million-dollar, sellout measures?
Well, yes and no.
Thankfully, there is no compromise in Xzibit’s verse, but the collective effort on behalf of his production crew keep Man vs Machine from becoming a gem.
No rapper has a similar style. Xzibit’s versatility is prevalent in the record’s 19 tracks.
“Release Date,” is a journey into the mind of an inmate a week before his return.
Xzibit raises the tone of his already gravelly voice on the Slick Rick-esque “Choke Me, Spank Me. (Pull My Hair).”
“Missin’ U” is an ode to Xzibit’s long deceased mother.
The standout track is the bumped-out single “Multiply.”
While the lyrics reach new heights, the beats just don’t live up.
Even though Dr. Dre blesses two songs and DJ Premier laces the magnificent “What a Mess,” the rest of the beats are keyboard drive-bys, touched with R & B hooks thab dumb down Xzibit’s brilliant lines.
– Robert Sumner