Building on all the fun to be had on his 2010 effort, Shock Treatment, Kickin' & Screamin' finds Strange Music rapper Krizz Kaliko offering the sweet (club-worthy party tracks) along with sour (dark therapy sessions to thudding, rumbling beats), but this time, the musical genre wheel is spun and no matter where it lands, it's Kaliko time. Besides the dramatic, gloomy hip-hop you'd expect to find on a Strange Music release, there's also the sound of modern, "catch a wave" surf music ("Kali Baby") and the robotic stomp of dubstep ("Kill Shit," with special guest Twista plus label boss Tech N9ne), along with the polished, big-top R&B of T-Pain ("Dumb for You"). Later, it's dreamy "cloud" rap ("Created a Monster") and the Kanye-sized epic closer ("Stay Alive"), but it's not just the music underneath that's varied, as the nimble Krizz adjusts his style accordingly, sounding earnest and uplifting on the grand statement called "Wannabe" and going wonderfully dumb on the ridiculous word twister "Abu Dhabi." Diversity seems to be fueling the man at this point, and he certainly sounds wiser and more inspired than before, so it's a bit of a bummer that a four-song stretch of slow, insightful numbers are bunched at the end of the album, all crowded together when everything was previously wonderfully shuffled. Mix them back in, and Kickin' & Screamin' is a fan-pleasing/fan-challenging win plus a serious step up from last time out.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries