Verbal – Visionair

Release Date: March 16
Label: rhythm zone

Tracklist:

  1. Vision In The Air
  2. Black Out Featuring Lil Wayne & Namie Amuro
  3. I Can’t Help Myself
  4. Ball N Bounce
  5. Dope Boy Fresh
  6. Fall Out Featuring Shunya
  7. Hey Mister Featuring Minami (Cream)
  8. I Want It All
  9. Change Change Featuring Nicki Minaj
  10. Stomp Dem Roach
  11. Liar Featuring Mademoiselle Yulia
  12. You Are…
  13. I See You
  14. Nothing
  15. Some Other Place Featuring Drake

Considering I jumped around on this album like a kid on a trampoline, it’s easy for me to say that I’m highly disappointed in Verbal’s first solo album. I spent half the album feeling like I’d been swallowed by an early 90s video game and someone was ping-ponging me back and forth to the same electronic beat. Thirty seconds into I Can’t Help Myself I felt like my ears were bleeding and I skipped to the end of the song as fast as possible. The rest of the album doesn’t get much better. For being one half of a group that’s known for their great beats and versatility, Verbal sure fell short on his own.

Don’t get me wrong, I quite enjoy electronic music and all of it’s sub-genres, but it sounded like he was just trying to sound cooler than he needed to on things. Change Change with Nicki Minaj had an interesting beat, but lost me half way through. Verbal has a great voice, but in completely auto-tuned songs such as You Are, we completely lose that and are forced to listen to the 80s Mario-like hook and slow electronic beat.  He finally mixes it up with an acoustic guitar on Nothing, but sadly keeps the auto-tune on his voice, otherwise it would be a really good song.

In all, the album focuses too much on playing with the sound effects box and not enough on Verbal’s voice and rapping talent.

Best Track: Nothing

Rating: ★¾☆☆☆ 

Preview it on Xiami.com | Like it? Buy it on YesAsia

Jenna

Part-time student, full-time media whore, fan of all things Asian.

9 Responses

  1. amy says:

    “feeling like I’d been swallowed by an early 90′s video game and someone was ping-ponging me back and forth to the same electronic beat.” Best line ever. Might consider holding a YAM review awards xD

    To be honest, I don’t like lil’ wayne… or nicki minaj or drake. LOL Or Namie Amuro – haha. Oh my gosh, if you had told me A.I or m-flo… I might have tried this. xD

  2. Jenna says:

    hahaha. Thanks. You know that Verbal IS one half of m-flo don’t you?

    • amy says:

      @Jenna, I find it strangely weird that a lot of people like hip hop r&b from Japan because they don’t feel the genre is good in America any longer, and yet the hip hop r&b artists in Japan feel the need to collaborate with their American counterparts.

      It’s as if I would be praising Kpop idols, and they felt the need to collaborate with the Bieber. xD

      • Jenna says:

        @amy, It is ridiculous, I agree. I was always stumped as to why people in Asian countries think they need to prove themselves in the American market to be successful. I mean, I would LIKE some of my artists to come here and perform – but they change too much. I think that I like the sound of Asian R&B and Hip-Hop more – but things these days are blending so much that it’s becoming harder and harder for acts to stand out. I don’t care for most of the “big collaborations” coming out of Asia. The only one I’ve really enjoyed is SUNZOO. And that’s more like a meeting of the minds.

  3. Katy says:

    I have this cd, but am afraid to listen to it, sounds like my fears are justified. I love m-flo & Verbal, this makes me sad. I am so over auto-tune, not looking forward to that. Maybe I’ll wait until I’m really in the mood and it will grow on me like some m-flo song have in the past.

    • Jenna says:

      @Katy, I’ve been an m-flo fan for 7 years. And I’ve loved every minute of it. I think that together, they make amazing music that is creative and versatile. Apparently you take out Taku and you get this. :/ Let me know what you think when you’ve felt brave enough to listen to it.

      • Katy says:

        @Jenna, we both got into m-flo around the same time!! That Astromantic album, right? Shawn knew about them prior & when Astromantic came out he was playing “Love Bug” and stuff for me. The song that hooked me was when I saw the amazing video for “Miss You”. After that it was obsession.
        Do you know who the producer was on Verbal’s album? I’ve liked Teriyaki Boys and other stuff Verbal has collaborated on, so I wonder where the problem is.

  4. Ana Pana says:

    Well, damn. I’m iffy on Verbal but was expecting that this album would be an improvement from his last work. But i don’t think i’ll be too keen on getting this one. Shame. Up until now I still favor more of his Teriyaki Boyz and mid-00’s M-flo stuff.

    • Jenna says:

      @Ana Pana, Astromantic and Cosmicolor are the shit. I got into m-flo right when Astromantic came out. I think they had something amazing going with their beats and their jazz fusion sound. I wish we could get back to those days and throw auto-tune in the garbage.

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