Cookbook I Love the 80's

Cookbook works the concept of sampling music and movies from everyone's favourite decade of decadence — the '80s — giving the songs of I Love the 80's time appropriate pop culture referencing titles like "Molly Ringwald," an ode to his perfect girl, and "Andre the Giant," a song about inner strength. The Ferris Bueller's Day Off dialogue for the opening and closing of the album is obvious but also pretty much mandatory; the old school Cylon samples used throughout the rest of intro track "Cylon-tro" are perfect. Of course, the pop music samples and recognizable revamps of choruses make for some of the best moments, as with Wang Chung's "Dance Hall Days" for "Molly Ringwald," the Ghostbusters' theme for "What's Happening Now" and even that buff guy playing sax on the beach in The Lost Boys for "LOST BOYS (Still Believe)." Unfortunately, the album wanes a bit in the middle thanks to many mellow beats and less recognizable sample choices. As well, Cookbook's voice, flow and subject matter — positive, spiritual and witty — sound a little too much like his fellow L.A. Symphony member Pigeon John. Still, he's working his own vibe here and young hip-hop fans worldwide need to hear his schizophrenic but understandable thoughts on gangsta/thug rap expressed on "What's Happening Now." While you might not need to know much, or even care, about the '80s to enjoy Cookbook's solo debut, you'll certainly appreciate it more if you do. (Just-Us)