Lyrics Born

Same !@#$ Different Day

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    8
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Lyrics Born spent years, in front of the mike and behind the boards, preparing his solo debut, Later That Day.... High irony, then, that its remix album -- released just one year later -- is a much more exciting and engaging listen. Most importantly, more and better producers are heard here. For a rapper, Lyrics Born is a solid producer, and he infused his album with plenty of earthy jams, but after a cast of genuine underground hip-hop heavyweights got hold of these basic vocal tracks, they provided listeners with something special. Gifted with the first two productions, Jumbo of Lifesavaz has a special role, and his hooky versions of "Hello" and "Pack Up" (the latter with new verses from KRS-One and Dilated Peoples' Evidence) outperform the originals by a wide margin. Dan the Automator shows up for the mildly menacing "I'm Just Raw," an amusing game of the dozens that shows Lyrics Born using his head to outwit challengers (but unwisely recycling the Stuart Smalley slogan "Goshdarnit, people like me" for the chorus). Young Einstein contributes a Jackson 5 groove on "Do That There" that's just as fun as any of his Ugly Duckling productions, and remixes of "I Changed My Mind" from Stereo MC's and DJ Spinna make it easy for the vinyl-phobic to pick up a great pair of LB tracks. The disc's only disappointment is the new track "Over You," a desultory slow blues featuring a collaboration between Lyrics Born and DJ Shadow (plus LB's wife, Joyo Velarde, on vocals). [Some versions of the record also included a bonus DVD, featuring three videos, a documentary featurette, and live footage from a 2004 tour by LB and the Quannum family.]

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