Declaime Andsoitisaid

Growing up across the street from a friend that would end up being known as innovative producer Madlib, could be categorised as a stroke of good luck, but Declaime is no tagalong crewmember with inferior skills. He's already demonstrated his creativity by contributing verse and the cover comic-strip illustration for Lootpack's Soundpieces: The Antidote, as well as releasing his own Illmindmuzik EP a while back. On first impression, Declaime's flow could be described as that of a coherent Ol' Dirty Bastard, but that would be dismissive of his overall appeal. While he does have a gravely voice that sounds like he's always fresh off consuming some alcoholic beverage, his lyrics aren't as wayward as they may seem. He mixes the spontaneity of freestyles with intelligent and thematic, thought-provoking content, which is fuelled by a genuine and endearing honesty. Whether he's politely looking for a soul-mate on "Uplift Da Opposite," or comes clean for his motivations on "The Reason," it's really hard not to like Declaime, and the guests add rather than subtract from the experience. "Westcoastwildstyle," with Rasco, and "Roll 'em Right 2," with the incomparable Phil Da Agony, are among the best of the 30 tracks. With the music interspersed with more than a few skits, the album's a bit too long, but this fact is softened by the fact that many of the interludes are underscored by Madlib's dusty beats. His production on this album is more linear than the hallucinatory mind space he seemed to occupy for creating Quasimoto's The Unseen. Along with Oh No, who contributes some excellent tracks, the sonic foundation for Declaime's entertaining musings is unquestionably airtight and allows the MC to establish himself in his own right. (Groove Attack)