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[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
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
One A.M.
Chocolate Industries

Rating: 6.5/10 ?

October 1, 2004
I love albums that display an excess of incredible, gifted and brilliant music performers. Yet each of these releases never completely identifies an individual or showcases the ultimate skills or talents that they personally possess. Any compilations, especially in hip-hop, only demonstrate a certain linear look at the artists that are enveloped in the project. So most mislead the listener or present a tarnished look at the skill and abilities of a specific performer.

If Diverse's One A.M. was a compilation album, it would be extremely difficult to say anything negative about it. With hip-hop moguls like Madlib, RJD2 and Prefuse 73 in the production line up, there is very little room for failure or disappointment. Even the guest appearances are airtight, with stand-up and fascinating accompaniments from Jean Grae, Lyrics Born and ex-Cannibal Ox's Vast Aire. With this dense and almost perfect collection of hip-hop industrialists, Diverse has soaked himself into an immense amount of talent and wit. Unfortunately, this process works negatively on occasions, leaving the state of One A.M. in a gray matter. Let me explain.

Diverse is talented; in fact, his flow and lyrical wit are exceptional, making him one of today's most surprising emcees in hip-hop. Unfortunately, Diverse is the least talented player on his own personal release, One A.M. That leaves a sour taste on the record, never focusing completely on Diverse and his abilities to perform as an emcee.

The first two tracks of the record, "Certified" and "Uprock," showcase Diverse's ability to rock the mic with the best in the game. Unfortunately, the production from RJD2 is faultless - and I mean faultless! - leaving the listener blown away by the compelling beats and astute production, not the rhymes spoken by Diverse. In fact, after several listens to the album, I have yet to remember anything Diverse says on the entire album; this is a setback.

The dilemma continues with "Big Game," as Vast Aire plunges to the depths of his lyrical aptitude and outweighs Diverse's own lyrical content. Madlib's A Tribe Called Quest-ish beat on "Ain't Right" is beautiful and mesmerizing, leaving the listeners reminiscing about 1992 hip-hop, Q-Tip, and the Native Tongues - not Diverse. Prefuse 73 is next on the production roster on "Jus Biz," soaking the listener with synth-driven fabrications that makes your heart jump from your chest. In fact, the bass and synth almost drowns Diverse completely, causing the same effect as any of the previous tracks. And this quandary continues throughout the album, leaving many posing this question; who is Diverse? We just don't know, and really don't find out, on One A.M.

Like I mentioned previously, Diverse is extremely talented. But with exceptional performances by every guest on the record (even Jean Grae overshadows Diverse on "Under The Hammer") the album leaves listeners misguided and ill advised. Diverse said it best himself on "747," 'WE' keep it fly-er than a 747. It is true! As a compilation album, One A.M. is a fantastic record. As a Diverse album, it lacks something necessary: Diverse.

Reviewed by Kevin Crepeault

See other reviews by Kevin Crepeault



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