Yeah, I thought this was Rob Thomas's latest self-pity party, too. We weren't too far off base there, were we? Geico should really just hire actors to dress like cavemen, loiter at concerts and dance clubs wearing Geico-emblazoned gear, and casually work Geico into conversations. Given the ubiquity of DVR technology, it's the next logical step.
War Angel LP represents the first salvo in Fitty's comeback charm offensive, his attempt to win back fans after a couple of years of uninspired half-assery and drum up interest in the oft-delayed Before I Self Destruct. So we get relatively inspired Curtises—moneyed rake Curtis; brute jokester Curtis; bloodthirsty, streetwise Curtis—spitting over soul/blaxploitation beats. Lightweight fare like sub-"Girls, Girls, Girls" takeoff "London Girl" charms, but battlefield bangers à la "Message," where 50 inexplicably quotes Jack Nicholson in Batman, are the real treats.
"You a mom and pop, I'm a corporation/I'm the red carpet, you're a conversation"? Ouch. Mimi sons Eminem, flouts better battle rhymes in a single song than Shady could on Relapse, is suddenly even more awesome.
Finger-rapped bongo ripples, slo-mo drums, a skyscraper-high wave of Codeine: the perfect prescription for a deleted The Informers scene wherein Caribou's Daniel Snaith, improbably cast as a bartender, serves tropical drinks to tanned, bejeweled teen scions.
Universality from Eleanor and Matt? A nice surprise, this willingness to toss us a subdued, maudlin bone not (apparently) interwoven into some bonkers overarching conceit: "Near" merely sets its fearful eyes on some boom as it's being lowered. Everybody's been there.
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