Being a critically acclaimed rapper doesn't necessarily pay the bills, as Detroit MC Finale got a "real job" to support his family after the release of his 2006 LP A Pipe Dream & a Promise. That aptly titled effort banged with cutting-edge beats and the rapper's unassuming yet enthralling style, and 2015's version of Finale returns with the same observations, gripes, and ability to turn the mundane and depressing into something poetic. Big difference this time out are the beats as underground producer Oddisee handles them all, offering Finale cloudier and more abstract constructions cut from funk, soul, and other sounds of the '70s. Closing highlight "The Revival" is the most furious example, with two fast rhythms competing for the rapper's attention, while "Perseverance" is the beautiful, chilled version, and a perfect complement for the song's tale of staying content ("I quit looking in the mirror trying to see what they sayin'" says guest Big Tone). Finale's lyrical highlights come during the odd declaration dubbed "Cut Day" ("I pimp at the gift shops/So the local rappers step on that neighborhood kingpin sh*t and feel like they're seeing things") and the more straight-ahead story "7 Days," which places him back at the workplace and aching to get back into music. As much as he was aching, Odds & Ends comes off as natural and loose, with no over-anxious missteps, leaving only the long wait for the album to complain about, along with the album's title, which jokes on the MC's and producer's names and should evoke a sense of "triumphant return" instead of "lost tapes."
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries