Album Review: Boombox Saints “Bringin’ the Boom Back”

Band: The Boombox Saints
Album: Bringin’ the Boom Back
Rating: 3 out of 5
www.myspace.com/theboomboxsaints

By Aaron Binder

It’s been a busy year in Maple it would seem.  The last time we heard from the homegrown Boombox Saints was when they released their debut EP last summer.  With the release of their first full-length, the group has obviously been reppin’ hard in the studio to finish Bringin’ the Boom Back.  Packed with 12 songs, 3 skits (weren’t these dead in the 90’s?) and guest appearances by West Coast talent this disc is an ambitious piece of music by such a young band.

Drawing heavily on 90’s R&B and Hip-hop, the group has refined their sound from the schizophrenic style of their first EP and shifted their production toward the sultry, slow jamming beats of artists like K-Os and Gin and Juice era Snoop.  Unfortunately the excellent production is where the similarities end. While the group has always exhibited massive amounts of potential, they have fallen short of refining their vocals to a level that matches the slick production.  That isn’t to say the vocals are bad, they are actually pretty good, there just isn’t any improvement since their EP.

Lyrically there are a few too many babies and damn girls on the album but the group does exhibit an exceptional talent at flowing in and out of each others lines.  There are a few songs worth keeping on your mp3 player of choice though.  Bringin’ the Boom Back is a solid track and the group kicks up their game 10 notches with Across the Sky.

While the group does have a marginally high level of talent, it is unfortunate they’ve decided to focus on an area of their sound that is quite weak.  What initially impressed me about their EP were the well-crafted slower songs.  While they maintain some great tracks on the full-length, they seem to have forgone their expertise to create a mainstream sound that unfortunately falls flat when compared to their true talent.

This is one of those difficult albums to peg down because of the talent involved, it always seems like the lyrics and rhymes should be hitting you with more punch at all times.  That isn’t to discount the times when a song does smack you in the face; when the group is working tightly, they’re pretty damned good.  This is a good listening album, there aren’t any particularly weak songs and you will probably enjoy it, just don’t expect it to make any top 10 lists.

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