Friday, October 15, 2010
Weapons of Audio
If there is one thing you cannot do, it’s define what kind of sound that Weapons of Audio have created for their album Bipolar. There’s a little hip-hop, some electronica, a bit of pop, some rap, even a little slice of blues. With all these sounds, does the band create a successful stew of sounds?
Prince, or the Artist Formally Known As Prince, is a definite inspiration here, but the duo dips into the sounds of several other artists as well. This is no insult, as for a debut album, while drops of their influences show up here and there, the duo definitely have established their own sound.
“Partyline” shows what a song would be if Outkast remixed Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” It’s catchy, fun, different, and has the wide appeal the King of Pop had, along with some bits and pieces of experimental sounds. Let’s just say if the duo followed this sound throughout the record, they would’ve had a smash on their hands.
“Boulevard” borrows from the one-hit-wonder sound the band The Black Eyed Peas have been making a career out of for the past five years. The track, if released as a commercial single, would undoubtedly become a hit (if not a minor one), the only problem is, it’s a bit too kitchy to establish the group an album artist. Same thing with the sexually-charged “If You Want Me” and its accompanying x-rated music video clip. It just feels like this has been done before.
Mostly a feel-good music LP, the album takes an dark turn on the track “Kill My Boss,” which dives deep into the group’s fantasy of the multiple ways in which they would murder their employer. Perhaps a tongue-in-cheek song, lyrically the song is reminiscent of Eminem’s earlier material, in which he obsessively wrote about what he would do to his ex-wife. Controversial? Perhaps. Shocking? Yes.
Even with the lyrics of “Kill My Boss,” the most shocking moment of the disc is the opening “Boogie Shoes,” if only because it is so distant sonically from the rest of the record. Incorporating more of a bluesy, harmonica-based sound, the track shows from the beginning that this band takes their idealized version of club/hip-hop music to an experimental place that few have gone to before.
With the abundance of copy-cats out there in the music world, it’s refreshing to hear a duo take on the music on their own terms. With that, the record does run the risk of not becoming a commercial success, but at the same time, so many artists have seen success on their own terms with their own sound, there is no reason Weapons of Audio couldn’t join these ranks and change the face of music. In the end, the stew of sounds this band created with their own recipe may be a bit strong or “strange” for some, but for others looking for hip-hop with a fresh take, this just might for you.