Lyrics Born Everywhere At Once

Still one of the most charismatic MCs in the game, Lyrics Born gets mired in his own inventions on the club-happy Everywhere At Once. Hoping to escape the monotony of sample-based hip-hop, Tom Shimura worked with live musicians to create organic templates for his irresistible cadence. Oddly enough, the funk-rooted music and backing vocals sound slick and perfect for a plastic party world, making it trickier to get face time with the easygoing but dynamic host. There are occasions when the elements work well together, such as "Hott 2 Deff,” where Chali 2na trades verses with LB, and even Joyo Velarde’s incessant cheerleading seems appropriate. The vaguely Daft Punk groove of "I’m a Phreak” and Gnarls Barkley-meets-Devo incredulity of "Do U Buy It?” possess inventive charms, and "Whispers” is a heartfelt homage to a departed friend. Then again, romantic odes like "Differences” and "Top Shelf (Anything U Want)” are nagging, forced fun R&B and dancehall tracks that cause Everywhere At Once to stray into embarrassing territory. (Anti)