CD Reviews


By Josh Bashara

MC Solaar

*Cinquieme As

(Sentinel Quest)

A French hip-hop artist? I guess these days there is a genre for everything. This guy sounds a little like RZA from Wu Tang, only the rhythms are being spit out in a different language.

A tightly produced record, *Cinquieme As leaves the listener twiddling their thumbs after a while; unless you speak fluent French, you really can’t do much except listen to the album in the background.

Not much can really be said about this disc, but if you’re a fan of multicultural music, or just want a little different flavor with your beats, then pick this CD up. Otherwise, throw it out the window, like I just did.

*Grade: D-

Aja Daashuur

*Before The Beginning

(Extasy Records)

Somewhere in-between female performers like Alanis Morrisette and Sara McLachlan lay lesser-known wanna-be’s like Aja. Soft pianos and drums accompany this pseudo-diva’s rather decent voice.

Songs of love and the usual relationship obstacles are tackled in such songs as “Help Me” and “Wish I Could Go Back In Time.” The entire disc sounds strangely familiar, probably because we’ve heard the same thing over and over again on the radio.

Another tortured soul with an angelic voice sings the songs we’ve heard a thousand times before. One redeeming quality of the CD is the music Aja sings along to is actually better than the singing itself.

Melodies of building tempo, with a slight edge of darkness keep the attention barely long enough to finish each song.

*Grade: C-

Freaky Flow

*Keep It Live

(Moonshine Music)

Moonshine is a record label well known for its array of techno artists. One of the label’s latest releases, *Keep It Live, brings Freaky Flow together with MC Flipside. Recorded live at the Living Room in Toronto, this disc consists of 19 tracks of drum and bass with MC Flipside spitting out freestyle raps.

Drum and bass is hard enough to listen to for any extended period of time, and it doesn’t help that Mr. Flipside (A white kid from the U.K.) is making an ass out of himself by trying to lay down some rhymes.

The sound quality on this disc is poor, obviously taken from a cheap soundboard. I love techno (almost every genre) but I couldn’t listen to this album more than 10 minutes at a time. The repetitiveness of this style of drum and bass is just too hard on the ears, and every time Flipside jumps in with his ridiculous shout-outs and “Make some nooooooize!” it makes me want to punch him in the face.

Get this disc if you’re a true fan of drum and bass, otherwise throw it out the window, like I just did again.

*Grade: D


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