Artist: Lyrics BornTitle: Same !@#$ Different DayRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Max Herman
Remixes are always a risky entity. While artists revisit their own songs in an attempt to put a fresh spin on them, oftentimes they wind up either butchering them or adding very little to the original. There are exceptions of course. And Lyrics Borns new album, Same !@#$ Different Day (Quannum), is one of them. Two years after dropping his highly praised solo debut, Later That Day, this unmistakably-voiced MC/beat maker returns with an album packed with worthy remixes and a handful of impressive new material.
While Lyrics Borns (largely) self-produced solo debut was not a bad effort at all, it wasnt as groundbreaking as many critics adamantly claimed. It was, however, a good introduction to LB as a soloist. (Dont forget the classic independent album he recorded with Lateef the Truth Speaker as Latyrx). As this Bay Area rep who helped launch Quannum Projects is all about quality control, theres no way LB would have re-made so many of his previous songs unless he knew he could outdo the originals. And that he does with help from friends and a few Hip-hop legends. On the Pack Up Remix he summons Quannum cohort Jumbo to add a little thump to the production and Evidence of Dilated Peoples and Blastmaster KRS-ONE to juice up the already dope original; then on I Changed My Mind Remix, LB lets longtime purveyors of danceable hip-hop, The Stereo MCs, turn one of his biggest hits into an even livelier party-ready gem. None of the remixers here, from The Stereo MCs to Yong Einstein of Ugly Duckling, fail to carry out their duty. And while sparse, the satisfying new material will likely leave listeners awaiting LBs official follow-up to Later That Dayespecially, I Cant Wait For Your Love, his heartfelt duet with girlfriend Joyo Velarde.
Sure this album is not quite as thematic or seamless as his debut. But, it was humble of LB to step back a bit and let a gang of talented artists help rework his music, and they fulfilled their duty remarkably. Lyrics Born proves that just because something isnt broke doesnt mean you cant fix it.