Leading up to the release of Feedback, Jurassic 5 rapper Soup distanced his group from the rap underground that had embraced his music, but apparently had not paid enough of his bills. "It's a step up for us because we have been basically known as an underground group.... We've been known as a backpacker group." Indeed, after years of bringing their live show to thousands of scattered festival-goers (Lollapalooza, Warped, Bonnaroo, Reading), the group reached for the same type of commercialized sweet spot that had made Black Eyed Peas one of the hottest things in rap during the mid-2000s. That doesn't mean more sex, but it does mean more anthems, more featured appearances, and more sounds from the contemporary rap charts. With producer Cut Chemist gone for a solo production career, the group focused heavily on their other in-house source, DJ Nu-Mark, who contributes an opener in "Back 4 U" that makes it sound as though nothing has changed in the Jurassic camp. His pair of Sugar Hill tributes later in the album ("Radio," "In the House") end up being highlights of the album, not because they're stellar, but because the outside producers come up short so often. Interscope may have sprung for some of the most expensive for-hire producers -- Scott Storch (famous for 50 Cent, T.I., Lil' Kim, and the Roots) and Salaam Remi (Fugees, Nas, Ludacris, Joss Stone) -- but any savvy listener can go right down the track listing and match nearly every production to the source that prompted it being co-opted here. "Baby Please" is a horn-led Neptunes rewrite, "Gotta Understand" a second-rate Kanye West production (complete with Curtis Mayfield's sampled crooning), and "Get It Together" tries to capitalize on the fad of catchy whistling hooks already defined by Juelz Santana's "There It Go! (The Whistle Song)." The first single, a sunny singalong titled "Work It Out," also has little to recommend itself -- especially not the contributions of the Dave Matthews Band. Against productions this diluted, Jurassic's top-notch rhymers -- Chali 2na, Soup, Akil -- fail to make any headway, usually spitting rhymes already familiar to listeners of their earlier work.
AllMusic Review by John Bush
feat: Dave Matthews Band