The Foreign Exchange: Leave It All Behind (Album Review)

Your jeans are getting slimmer, and you finally caved in and bought a pair of Wallabies because your girl convinced you that you can’t wear Dunks ALL the time, so why not change up your listening game and listen to some grown man ish?

If you’re looking for a different flex and want to bump something that you AND your date can chill to, look no further than Leave It All Behind (Hard Boiled);the latest collaborative project from Little Brother’s Phonte and Dutch producer Nicolay.

Hot on the heels of their critically acclaimed 2004 debut Connected, the duo continue to bring the laid-back, mature vibes which prove to be a refreshing listen and act as an aural break from the mixtape static saturating your eardrums.

Album opener “Daykeeper” let’s the listener know where they’re headed on this disc, as Phonte employs his more than respectable singing talents along with support from female crooner Muhsinah. The spacey sound effects and two-step beat in this airy gem is reminiscent of Jill Scott.

“All Or Nothing / Coming Home To You” is one of the few times Phonte actually raps on this album. Phonte airs out his boo and his unconditional love for her over some nu-funk and porn-flick synthesizers: “You don’t have to live through such extremes / I understand my baby and just what she means / Even if we fight and call each other some names / It’s not the end of the world / It’s just part of the game.” Other standout tracks include “Valediction” and the title track “Leave It All Behind”.

The only thing that works against this otherwise solid project is the limited subject matter (girls, relationships, etc.) and the lack of emceeing on the part of Phonte. Fans familiar with the Exchange’s debut will be happy with this effort; however the Little Brother loyal may be slightly disappointed with the lack of lyrics and the electronic-leaning production.

If you’re looking for the right background music to compliment that special night with a special someone, then look no further to Leave It All Behind. Now picking up the Sauvignon, learning how to cook and sealing the deal? That’s up to you player.

The Foreign Exhange Featuring Muhsinah


The Foreign Exhange Featuring Darien Brockington

"Take Off The Blues"