The X-ecutioners


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The X-Ecutioners dropped one of their best tracks on a Playstation 2 video game soundtrack, 2003's SSX 3. A lively, robotic number that showed the DJs were really thinking out of the box, "Like This" returns on the group's 2004 full-length Revolutions, and it's got some worthy company. Rapping at full force, Ghostface's appearance on "Live from the PJs" makes for the other instant highlight. Roots man Black Thought goes round for round with Ghostface, and the rickety looping of 7th Wonder's "Daisy Lady" seals the deal. Lyrically nailing it on "Back to Back," Saigon and Scram Jones are the unknown finds of the album. The B Real, Dead Prez, and Fat Joe tracks are all true hip-hop and very welcome. The more pop-oriented bits of the album -- a redo of "More Human Than Human" with Rob Zombie and Slug, "Let Me Rock" with punk-rapper Start Trouble -- don't fare as well, but they're flashy fun and good for a listen or two. The skits are hilarious (the one about bootlegging The Best of Lillo Thomas especially) and the scratching is tight, often acting as a funky, "wacka-wacka" guitar or just plain sounding like madness. As producers the boys have come far and the album is paced well, winding down with some smoky, deep numbers. The just fair pop tracks keep it from being classic, but this is the best the talented team has sounded on record yet.

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