Tré Hardson

Liberation

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Liberation is the solo debut for Tré Hardson, formerly one of the leaders for one of hip-hop's most underrated groups, the Pharcyde. The record is full of groove-laden, contemporary R&B singalongs, most recorded with a full band -- heavy on the fretless bass, keys, and female backing vocals -- and no reliance on sampling. Hardson offers plenty of rhyming space to guests including MC Lyte ("Roots, Love & Culture"), Saul Williams ("Playing House"), Jurassic 5's all-timer Chali 2na ("Follow I'll Lead"), and, best of all (surprisingly), N'Dea Davenport on a nice feature, "Life Is Love." Much of Liberation focuses a bit too much on the groove, without enough attention paid to either songwriting or delivery, but it's a great one-man effort.

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