Jazzyfatnastees

The Tortoise & the Hare

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

All the elements that made Jazzyfatnastees grassroots favorites are in place for their sophomore effort, The Tortoise & the Hare. Tight, inventive vocal harmonies and rich intertwining melodies, which helped to define the duo's sound on their debut record, The Once and Future, have been refined and intensified by time. The "hip-hop for overachievers" approach to production is also notably stronger. The record features a slightly different cast, including New York Latin jazzers Yosvanny Terry, Dafnis Prieto, and Pedro Martinez, as well as those favorite old friends from the Roots. Although it takes the ladies a couple tracks to warm up to their usual steamy hot intensity, they make it there. The first few tracks lack the gut-level street cred of the previous record, especially evident in the lyrical triteness of "All Up in My Face" and the regrettable bossa nova section in "Something in the Way." Their taste for intricately layered tracks and their use of an acoustic influence in hip-hop prove deliciously evocative as the disc progresses with tracks such as "El Medio" and "Adolescent Blues." Having charted in Billboard's Top 100 Hip-Hop/R&B Albums is certainly a feather in this independently released record's cap. Such strong forward motion from a group that made a great first impression certainly deserves the industry's attention. This is a record not to be missed.

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