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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
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The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
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Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Gutterfly: The Original Soundtrack

Rating: 7.1/10 ?

December 11, 2007
Aaron McGruder time: why buy the fake blaxploitation album when the real thing's all over the place? I mean, what is this exploiting, really? Gutterfly is supposedly modeled as a classic blaxploitation B-flick written by three wiseguys out of the genre's time, but it's tongue-in-cheek, so it's all in good fun, right? These nice boys clean up their toy guns and put them away before bed, it surely takes out the blaxploitation appeal totally to know they're in control of their stardom, to know they're fetching their own money, no pie-eyed white directors to count atop his throne of coke.

There's the funk appeal, but there's nothing nasty, stanky or smoldering about it. Just fleeting flutes and mellowed vibes and the occasional orchestral stab to remind you you're listening to, er, an "Original Soundtrack." To nail the vibe, the Lifesavas crew's most talented rapper, Vursatyl, went to the movies and now parses atmosphere where he once demanded concreteness. His most felt moment comes from a scene where he is arrested in front of his kids, but his storytelling suffers mostly from the "telling" aspect and Vursatyl comes off a bit like a neutered Mr. Lif, desperately trying to draw our attention to the world he's created but can't quite dominate. He didn't have this problem on his group's first album, Spirit in Stone, the greatest De la Soul rip in positive-rhyme history, but the four-year wait(!) smoked his brains out in the making. And like I complained rather heartlessly earlier, not much gets exploited. If someone got murdered in the course of an hour, it was silenced by the spare, hypnotic burn of "The Warning" or the cool detach of "Double Up." A concept album subsumed by its beats? Believe it, even George Clinton appears for groove cred. These guys were better off bonking bumbles in the Lyricist Lounge.

Reviewed by Dan Weiss
Dan Weiss is the music editor for LAS. Formerly an editorial intern at CMJ and creator of the now defunct What was It Anyway?, his work has appeared in Village Voice, Pitchfork, Philadelphia Inquirer, Stylus and Crawdaddy among others. He resides in Brooklyn where he enjoys questionable lifestyle choices and loud guitars.

See other reviews by Dan Weiss



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