The Grouch

Making Perfect Sense

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Making Perfect Sense is a low-key affair that seems resigned, almost satisfied to sneak in under the radar. Nevertheless, the fifth album from prolific rapper/producer the Grouch easily ranks as his finest, and stands among the best of the solo projects from San Francisco/Los Angeles' Living Legends collective. The Grouch produced the majority of the tracks here himself, mixing slender beats with stripped-down funk and soul -- along with the occasional off kilter effect -- to create a minimalist, yet surprisingly diverse sound. A number of guests take the mike here--most familiar to Living Legends fans --but the Grouch handles most of the lyrics as well, and his vocal style is equally low key, if not quite as arresting. Sounding off on over-hyped artists and disingenuous industry types, dismissing his critics, and chronicling his struggles as an independent artist, the Grouch often sounds more than a little bitter. In other moments, praising his friends and those have stood by him, or preaching the value of self-reliance, he sounds thankful, even hopeful. In either case, the producer/emcee isn't finding much to laugh about. Making Perfect Sense is clearly no party record. The music is excellent though, and this is as thoughtful and sincere a hip-hop record as you're likely to hear.

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