Arecee Direction for Children

It takes just a quick listen to determine that Arecee sounds like a mix between Aesop Rock (his voice) and Eminem (occasionally hitting on a flow made famous by the old-style Slim Shady). But to dismiss him for either of those reasons would be a definite mistake. This Iowa-born MC, recently relocated to Boston, not only wrote and performed the vocals but also did all of the production and artwork for his first EP, Direction for Children. Arecee demonstrates great skills on the production boards, which is what makes Direction for Children such a successful debut. Lyrically, Arecee does justice to his topics, giving interesting spins to drinking ("Acceptable Treatment," one of the best tracks, due to a tasty bass line and memorable lines), social ills ("A Better Design") and the changes Arecee would like to make in his life ("Someday, One Day..."). But, with a voice similar to Aesop Rock, he will be unable to avoid comparisons with the more lyrical MC, even though Arecee is good on his own terms. A number of guest MCs stop by to lend some talent, most impressive among them being Know1, on "Grey," which also features Gai Den, and one of the best MCs in the underground, Sage Francis (Non-Prophets), on "Vital Signs." The short opening track, "First Song on the EP," along with "Someday, One Day..." and "Vital Signs" belong with "Acceptable Treatment" as the better songs on the EP. Most importantly, however, is that there isn't really a bad song until the final track, "Whatever's Clever," which bounces into some New York-style thuggery. And, at ten tracks in length, Direction for Children is very nearly a full LP. (Independent)