Kreva

Krevano Bestban

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AllMusic Review by

Kreva had been hiding in the shadows of the Japanese rap scene for a few years before this, a best-of, putting out tracks in conjunction with others as well as five albums of his own, but never achieving the popularity of the more hardcore (e.g. Nitro Microphone Underground) or the more R&B-based J-urban artists (e.g. Seamo, Shota Shimizu). Kreva's style hangs in the spectrum between the lighter and darker sides, utilizing what sounds like more of a street-based rap delivery built on freestyling, but generally using arrangements from the lighter end -- string synthesizers, casual beats. The album opens with a bang, with the short but aptly named "Strong Style" giving Kreva a chance to show off what he can really do, rapping over a heavy beat mildly reminiscent of Eminem's "Lose Yourself." Very quickly, however, the tone turns more simplistic and closer to the J-urban movement, using more shimmering arrangements and Casio keyboard riffs for basic R&B forms. Kreva's decline into simpler delivery is slow, still holding up through "Because," but hiding behind a crooning sideman in "Kreva Ii no Ni" before disappearing completely into a wash of casual flutes and strings in the mediocre (and ironic) Aggressive. Awash in the same mediocrity, Kreva muddles through the poppy "Have a Nice Day," the self-conscious throwback/summertime "H.A.P.P.Y.," and the throwaway classical fusion piece in "Kokuminteki Gyouji" (though he raps along with "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik," he slurs over the fast portions rather than using them as springboards to show some virtuosity). Except for a surprising and funky turn in "Funky Glamorous" (though it's held up in large part by co-star Mummy-D), the rest of the album flows with much of the same material. Kreva doesn't have the arrangements or charisma to work in a strictly J-urban format, and he doesn't have the wherewithal to make a strong showing as a rapper. Instead, he stays quietly in limbo, only making the occasional musical waves.