On their 2008 debut album, the Los Angeles by way of New Orleans duo the Knux seemed poised to follow in the footsteps of Southern greats like Outkast, melding raw beats with an even rawer flow. However on their follow-up, Eraser, it feels like the two have taken things in a different direction. In a move that seems inspired by the Black Eyed Peas, their sophomore effort takes the group's sound into more pop-oriented territories, setting aside the gritty production of their debut in favor of a slicker sound that’s more at home rattling dancefloors than trunks. Featuring a shift toward live instrumentation, the album brings the duo’s sound more in line with their live performances, but don’t expect a knockoff of the live funk/soul sounds of the Roots. Ubiquitous guitars and pulsing drums give the album a strong rock vibe, but like the Lil Wayne misstep Rebirth, there seems to be a disconnect between the music and the MCs. As if the sterile music is rejecting the Lindsey brothers’ once grimy flow, the two elements never seem to meet up. While this new direction will probably net the pair more radio play, it’ll definitely be a disappointment for anyone who came to the group through the far superior Remind Me in 3 Days.
by Gregory Heaney