O.C. - Starchild (Import Version) Review
01 Intro NOT RATED
Just a pretty ill jazz-inspired beat, with a little piano/flute deal working. Samples from O.C. songs start this album up over that laid-back instrumental. Not bad.
02 Evaridae (feat. Pharaohe Monch) 5 Stars
This has the only guest appearence, by Pharaohe Monch, who sings the hook. The beat is layered with a buncha samples and has a nice D.I.T.C. feel to it. The way the incorporate the female sample singing along with Monch is nice, as well as O.C. humming the melody. This is another rather laid-back song, but O.C. sounds comfortable enough, not as energetic as say, "Time's Up", but much calmer, which works here. O.C. still has skills. The opener is exactly what you would want it to be.
03 Who Run It? 3.5 Stars
The beat here is just not working that well. It's jazz inspired, but it is a little too high-pitched, and the hook isn't working for me. The samples on the hoo have noise from their original beat that drowns out the beat. O.C. does pretty well, but I'd like a better beat and hook.
04 The Professional 5 Stars
This beat is different-sounding, it has proud horn samples which are accompanied by cool percussion and a few other shit. O.C. goes to more up-tempo shit, and he looks more energized than the past songs. The song fades, and a scratched chorus comes in. This one I really like, especially the last samples with Nas and some other dude going "Professional" "Lyricist" "Here's another classic". When the song beat fades out at times, O.C. goes acapella and it sounds pretty nice. This shit is nice.
05 1nce Again 4.5 Stars
Another scratched chorus , another song with powerful horn samples. The songs kinda have this problem in which they seem a little too similar. Not that this beat isnt ridonkulous, it is, its just that it sounds the last one a little. O.C. kills it again. I like the little snare fill too.
06 Ya Don't Stop 5 Stars
This song has crazy ill production. It has a sample of a female saying shit, and then doing oohs and all sorts of funky sounds like an electric piano (?) and such. O.C. comes in and kills it, and then stops, and the females come and sing with a little piano thing. O.C. basically talks about how dope he is, but he does it incredibly well. This song has a chanted chorus, which is a break from the scratched chorus.
"Recpetion of a king when I walk in the building
Grown men and women in the place, no children
Packed house, back out, my mic, then i buck off,
Chicks scream like, LL rippin his shirt off
Rock star status, in the front row
Yellin: [Females: Just what I neeeeed]"
07 Story To Tell 4.5 Stars
Song based on horns, also rocking the sample that heads might find familiar from Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth's "It's a Love Thing". It has a sampled male singing "I got a story" and such. O.C. basically tells his life story. Personally, I prefer Pete's beat. That bassline is cool though.
08 What Am I Supposed To Do? 5 Stars
It has a lighthearted sample and a what sounds like a guitar, and a cool hat and snap combo along with the usual kicks and snares. O.C. talks about fake friends. The background samples, which are also high-pitched work pretty well. The hook is actually pretty cool.
09 Getaway 4.5 Stars
This song starts with sampled singing. It has a slow but high pitched sample, and aside from the superb drum work, the beat is not all that special. The sung sample is beautifully (no homo) interwoven into the song. The beat grows on me tho. O.C. spits really cool, reminiscing about his family and friends; gotta love the storytelling.
10 Memory Lane 4 Stars
The song uses horn hits and a light-hearted flute as well as yet another show of superb drum work. The horn hits are not as special as other beats. The sample of a male singing...hold on. My tags are fucked up! The guy is saying "Getaway!" "Memory Lane" is a better title for track 9. But anyways. O.C. spits some above-average stuff, even though maybe the fact that you hear 2 voices at the same time saying the same shit makes it sound like its the chorus all throughout the song.
11 Special 5 Stars
This is more upbeat, using alot of horns, switching the beat a considerable amount, and using sampled singing. O.C. stars it off pretty well, making an ode to EPMD:
"Aiyo, relax your mind, and let your concious be free
And get down with the sound to this n*gga O.C.
Walking the streets, chicks hawking me,
You ask why? Thats how it ought to be,
Draw your own conclusion, seperate the real form illusion,
The fake ones dealing from confusion"
The sung samples sound pretty cool with O.C. doing some ad-libs and whatnot.
12 Who Run It? Remix 4 Stars
This uses a flute loop, and a high-pitched piano and other stuff comes on in every now and then. The vocal samples on the hook still seem to drown out the beat. I like this version better, cause the beat's better.
13 Outro Not Rated
The beat uses the same beat as the intro, and i like the break. This time tho, they scratch O.C. samples, but this time from the album you just finished listening to.
Final thoughts: O.C. staged a valiant comback album, and he seems grown up but still determined. The beats are good in general, although they start sounding a little too similar for my taste. His flow tho, its a lot more laid-back than previously. Tho longtime O.C. fans will find that a little disturbing, there's nothing wrong with his new flow per se, its just different from before. Best hip-hop album of 2005? Maybe not, but the bar has been set. However, M.F. Grimm, who appearently Exec Produced it, is saying the U.S. version will feature production from Premier and Pete Rock (!!!!!!), or so the rumor says.
Final Score:4.545454 (Not Kidding)
Rounded to: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Grit Records, who realeased this album, have a dream line-up. They have the new KRS-One coming out, "Keep Right", which I'll be looking out for. But seriously, the line-up is insane: KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, DJ Revolution, A.G., O.C., and others. Best of luck to them.