label: Rec-League

production: Proe, P-Soup, Murat Akguel, Rick Saiz.

guests: Natalie Singly
year of release: 2004
The Prelude
Big Step Little Step
Always Something New
Who The Fuck Is Proe
The Last Train Home
Sleeping With The Television On
The Break Down
12. Why Are You Here
13. Alive feat. Natalie Singly
14. Cages
15. Travelin' Shoes And Sinner Blues
16. Sixty Six Seconds
17. Fake Love
18. Till It Breaks
19. Rooftops And Cheap Advice
  Always Something New
This is Proe's second record that lands on our desk. And while the other ("Tags On The Wall") already was kind nice, this is also kinda also. With a big but though. This record here does take a lot out of the books of other people. And it sometimes tries new things, what's appreciated, but kinda hit or miss.
"The Prelude" even leans too much toward 'indy guy tries to make popular music' - resulting in an anonymous something that could have been done by a million other folks. Plus this guitar was used for something else before. And while the law of biting does not include using the same thing if you make it your own, the jury may negotiate a little longer on the verdict. It appears that this track picks up some themes that Proe will elaborate on over the next couple of tracks, as we get the honest and somewhat witty line "I'm not humanly perfect, I'm full of flaws/ I'm perfectly human", and this he could also say on "Perfect."
The guitars screech over the second song "Big Step Little Step" in a more or less annoying fashion. But upon listening to the rest of the album, you'll actually realize that the worst songs on this record appear first - reversing the Demo rule. Because "Move" is much better, with a simple piano loop, a musical bass in the background and Proe sounding like Everlast. That's not the only rapper Proe mimics on here, taking a page from the book of Slug thematically on "Butterfly" and flow wise on "Always Something New".
In complete contrast to the songs where he's definitely inspired by other people, he tries a lot of new things. These new things don't work every time though, like on "Till It Breaks" where rock guitars with no business on a rap song are paired with live sounding drums, and one of those emo hop rhyme/sing styles, that make this neither fish nor bird. You can argue that the result is at least interesting, but that does not always equal good. Much better is the long sample on "Cages" with a surprising amount of Blues and an enormous amount of 'this is nice.' Repeated on "Rooftops And Cheap Advice", where the music is so loud though, the lyrics get lost in the mush. "Sleeping With The Television On" or "Who The Fuck Is Proe" will sound weird at first, but the Blues of the first and the pure oddness of the latter will grow on you, while "Sixty Six Seconds" and "Why Are You Here" are good from start to finish.
On this record, you'll get many a lyrics that are thoroughly personal, while at the same time bouncing through a million and one topic over the lifespan of one or three songs. So this is another example where you need to muster some form of interest in the person, to really bother to sit down and listen to all that he bothers to tell us. He helps that task with being a decent rapper, with a decent flow and if you're a regular dude, like Proe is a regular dude, you'll find yourself in many of the topics, and be it just the girl/man topic of "Always Something New".
Which is probably the best song on here. Heck, the beat is so damn good, it can actually be an anthem this summer. "Perfect" is also kinda funky and overall, you can just feel how Proe has no false impression of his self and his work. So give the man a couple of spins, allow some of the odder songs to grow on you - because they are quite worthy too. And if that takes too long, go back to "Always Something New" (or "Why Are You Here" or "Cages" or...), cause that song is gonna last all through summer.
review: tadah
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