Frankie Bones

The Thin Line Between Fantasy & Reality

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Frankie Bones fans might easily pass over this release repeatedly since the cover art moves away from his traditional rave-tastic line art or the b-boy cover shots of his more recent Moonshine releases. Three medieval figures and a Gothic font propose a darker aesthetic that is echoed in the liner notes, which are written in Bones' distinctly abstract line-of-thought voice and concern September 11th. By the time you slip the disc into the player and experience the radio-clutter voice on "The Universal Soldier," you're completely convinced that this is Bones in his most convincing mode, serious and contemplative, if not a little bit out-there.

So imagine the disappointment when track two come in with it's "Pump Up the Jams" sample. Guess Bones couldn't stay mad for too long. Not when there's funked-up techno that needs droppin' -- Boyz!!! Turns out that despite the brooding fa├žade, The Thin Line Between Fantasy and Reality is more of Bones' custom mix material assembled in haste, with precision and detail taking a backseat to overwrought beats and samples so predictable you could set your watch to them.

Though mainly recycled at this point, Bones still finds the occasional beat worth noting, such as the disjointed break on "The Industry" and disco heave-ho of "The Gravity." This is, of course, what makes Frankie Bones such an original. A tough-talking street poet who attempts to crush your skull while still wiggling his ass. But given the weight of the packaging, was it really too much to hope for something different this time around? Those just coming into Frankie Bones will enjoy this disc as much as any of his dozen other releases. But techno-heads who went around this corner long ago will be disappointed that Bones has yet to make the turn himself.

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