Declaime Self Study

Declaime Self Study
As much an exercise in personal evaluation as a mission to dish out verbal reality checks to those both innocently misguided and morally unscrupulous, Self Study, the latest from MC/label head Declaime, takes listeners on a bottom-heavy trip through the mental machinations of a teacher looking to let a troubled world know a few things. Backed by long-time running mate Georgia Ann Muldrow on the boards, the freewheeling lyricist unleashes a loose fitting, semi-stream-of-consciousness flow that generally hits the mark on the poignant subjects tackled, although it tends to suffer from a meandering, almost freestyle nature that, at times, leaves Declaime a drift within the often far more satisfying musical elements. For her part, Muldrow in many ways outshines the record's lyrical top-biller, turning in cut after cut of face-twisting, funked-out, synthesized grooves, with enveloping bass lines reverberating below a smattering of multi-dimensional, largely electronic tones. With tracks like the ominous "East Meets West" and floorboard-rattling "Tribal Warfare" serving as standouts, Self Study definitely pleases, although more for the music than the man named on the album jacket. (SomeOthaShip)