Goodword Coulda Been That

Goodword’s debut from last year, I Got A Story To Tell, was fun, positive and an easy listen. Unfortunately, his follow-up, Coulda Been That, slips somewhat. The look of the CD is much less professional, with artwork that would be better suited to a mix-tape, as well the music and vocals are less polished than the first time around. Still, Goodword and his collaborators pull together a solid first half and a strong finish starting with the scratch-heavy "Intro” before diving right into "Creditor,” a hard, fun D-Wiz beat backing Goodword’s raps about debt. A little later, D-Wiz comes through again with some minimal production and drunken raps for another highlight, "11 Beer Buzz.” However, the majority of the production on Coulda Been That comes from Steven Radison, who also supplied most of the beats on the debut, and once again it’s hit and miss. His best contributions are those that take some chances, like the dragging drums and whistling on "Brain Freeze” or the final two tracks: the minimal, constantly morphing "Get Out of My Life” and the doo-wop hip-hop of "Who’s a Wop.” Plus, his smooth production on "Track 8” makes for the best match for Goodword to rip some wicked rap flows over. If you’re not the type to judge a CD by its cover, you’ll likely find a few hidden gems on Coulda Been That. (One League)