Pigeon John

Dragon Slayer

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If you're going for a hit on mainstream pop radio, then the opener on Dragon Slayer called "The Bomb" certainly fits the bill. It's also an excellent blend of the album's swagger and hilarity wrapped into a rap and pop package. Even more than that, it sounds anthemic, which is probably why Volkswagen chose to use it in one of their commercials. Musically, you can certainly hear Hervé Salters' (of General Elektriks fame) influence. Salters, a Quannum labelmate, co-produced the album along with Pigeon John to sound different than his previous releases. Gone are the straight samples, which have been replaced with chopped instrumentation. Even without a strong singing presence, Pigeon John sounds confident. In riding a style that blurs the line between singing and rapping, such as on "Rock Bottom Again," he adds melody to lyrics that would bounce along successfully even if they were strictly rapped but are more memorable when sung. However, the melody is what makes the hook so striking, as it balances nicely with the sparse horns that interject. Showing another side of his talents is "Hey You," which plods along with a sexy bassline, thumping kick drum, and a few piano stabs before ripping into a rocking rouse that could easily incite a crowd to mosh. Charisma is one of his greatest assets, in part because he can blend humor into lyrics such as "Yep yep I'm banging some Depeche Mode/Windows down so you can see my fresh mode/My 6-4 is only a Nintendo/But I'm smashing fools on some Super Mario," flipping the all-too-stale hip-hop 6-4 reference popular in the '90s into something a bit more quirky and 2000s. It's a new chapter for an artist who is now five albums deep into his career. While some artists would be content with their roots already planted, Pigeon John is sowing new seeds that could germinate beautifully, taking him from relatively obscure to a radio staple.

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