The Embassy True Soldiers

Three years after the dope debut Primitive Plus, Edan is back with his sophomore album Beauty and the Beat. Because the first album was so innovative — what, with Edan's solo production and sick flows — it's hard not to draw comparisons. Beauty and the Beat is a more mature, fine-tuned version, using the same techniques heard on Primitive Plus with more focus given to substance and production. Fans can expect a similar sound from Edan as far as lyrics, samples and twisted tempo changes, but there is a definite rock influence on this record, as heard on tracks "Time Out" and "Rock and Roll." Beauty and the Beat is a mishmash of spaced-out psychedelic sounds, samples, break beats and Edan's cool, old school rhyming steez. "Fumbling over Words That Rhyme" is reminiscent of tracks from his first album, with Edan paying homage to rap "scientists” of the past, while "I See Colours" features Edan's stamped sample style as well as lyrics about the cosmos of life. Beauty and the Beat also features partner in rhyme, Insight, and a special appearance by Mr. Lif on the track "Making Planets." Given Edan's technical genius (he produced every track), in addition to his imaginative rhyming skill and experience, this album will not disappoint; unfortunately, it doesn't quite capture the essence and originality of Primitive Plus, but at the same time, maybe Beauty and the Beat will expand Edan's fan base as compared to the underground following of his previous releases. (Maccabee)