HTML tutorial

Album review: Curbside Jones - Digital Boogie Man

Right now we're going to take a look at Digital Boogieman from Curbside Jones. It's the first part of a two part series. Curbside Jones is a 25 year old rapper coming from Austin, Texas and has been rapping since 2010. During his time as a rapper he's performed at the South by Southwest Music Festival on two different occasions, so he's an experienced rapper.

I never actually heard Jones before this album so I didn't exactly know what I should expect beyond a short summary of the project. Admittedly with a name like Curbside I expected some gangster rap or something, because that's just the kind of thing I think of. Sometimes it's really good to be wrong because I can't think of many gangster rappers that could flip a Powerpuff Girls sample. Jones has a really unique flow. It's reminiscent of Danny Brown. Not because he sounds like Brown, but simply because of its unorthodox nature and is somewhat unpredictable. Yet, at the same time it's rather smooth and unforced.

The theme of the album as described by Jones is "The project is a concept EP based around the Digital Boogie Man, who is a manifestation of our infatuation with technology[...]texting and driving, becoming 1 with your mobile device, hiding feelings behind a keyboard or phone screen..." That definitely comes through on the actual project. It's a theme that is held tight through the whole album from the opening seconds where you hear a dial up internet modem. A strange sound for some people but for those of us around 18 to 25 that was the sound we heard when we first became integrated with the internet. 

Lyrically there's a bug difference between some of the tracks. Generally Jones is pretty good throughout the album and puts his lyrical prowess on display in combination with his unorthodox flow. However there are certain moments that made me kind of scratch my head. On the song "Heart/Drive" he raps "Emoji emoji emoji, these are my feelings you're my one and only, hashtag my one and only," it just kind of leaves you perplexed.

I could just be nitpicking. Admittedly "Heart/Drive" is my least favorite track on the album. I get the concept of texting and driving. I just feel like it doesn't fit. Compared to the other tracks on the album "Heart/Drive" kind of seems like a random dance track. Some house music you can dance to with someone you hopefully won't text while driving later. The rest of the album doesn't have this feel even on other fast tracks, it never reaches that speed. It stands out somewhat and disrupts the flow.

Picking a favorite track is always hard. If I had to choose it would either be "Th3 Anatomy," or "FaceTime With God." Both provide songs have completely different feels to them. "Th3 Anatomy," has this incredible flip towards the end of the track that just makes you sit back and admire it. On the other hand "FaceTime With God," has one of Jones stronger lyrical outings and is a nice contrast after "Heart/Drive."
  • Lyricism-7
  • Flow-8
  • Production-10
  • Theme-10
  • Replayability-8
  • Individuality- 9
The final score comes out to 8.67/10. I don't usually review production because a bad rapper can ruin good production and a good rapper can still make you listen to a track with bad production. This is one case where the production and the rapper are just so in sync that you can't do anything but give a standing ovation for it. Additionally it's rare where a project can feature more than one producer and stick to the theme. The samples, effects and everything placed throughout the tracks really adds to the theme and the immersion into the world of technology.

Digital Boogie Man

You can also check it out at Audiomack
You can also follow Curbside Jones on Twitter

You can hear Darrell on the CP Time and Powerbomb Jutsu podcasts. He also plays classic arcade games on The Cabinet
Darrell S.

Hey, I write stuff, a lot of different stuff, that's all.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post