The J. Davis Trio These Things Happen

Despite being heralded as Chi-town's answer to "the fluid, jazzy, musically challenging hip-hop of the Roots" by The Chicago Sun Times, there is nothing in the J. Davis Trio's These Things Happen that approaches the creativity of even the Philly collective's Talkin' Loud period. With an overall feel that could better be described as "dental office hip-hop," the bass, drums and trumpet-moulded three-piece manage to turn the gift of live musicianship in hip-hop into an entirely lukewarm expo of confusingly simplistic and repetitive phrasings with very few creative embellishments. MC/percussionist Stuart leads the procession with a chilled-out, grown man flow that, perhaps owing to its heavy old school lean and the run-of-the-mill, faux-jazz grooves riding underneath, results in an effort your rap-deriding parent may finally find sympathy with. While you'd assume a live band would be capable of something far more dynamic than this, any musical talent is unfortunately nullified by this head-scratching and wasteful attempt at loop-based beats-and-rhymes. (Fanatic)