Customer Review

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars, in my opinion. Will you like Yelawolf's new direction? Read further..., November 22, 2011
This review is from: Radioactive (Audio CD)
First off, I'm going to say things from my perspective, and I'm going to say things from an objective point-of-view as well.

First (My opinion): AWESOME! Yelawolf has evolved his rap techniques and songwriting and in turn has created a true life-portrait through an eclectic selection of sounds on "Radioactive". With everything from hard club bangers to soft as Charmin ballads, this album has something for everybody. I couldn't believe the amount of deep songs on this record. At first I was taken aback by the amount of what haters call "pop-rap" on this record. I said this on my review of Trunk Muzik and it applies to Radioactive as well: No matter what type of song it is, Yelawolf tears it apart when it's time to rap. Slow beats? He kills 'em. Club songs? He kills 'em. His flow never lets up and I'm very impressed. On his previous release (Trunk Muzik: 0 to 60; which I gave 4.25 stars a year ago), there was a joke going around that "all Yelawolf raps about is trunks." Pretty funny, but not true necessarily. However, I will admit that the subject matter on his previous work has never spanned this many topics. As far as his technique, he's gotten even better vocally. There were maybe 2 songs on the record that I didn't like (mainly: "Radio" which almost seems destined to become a single... but more on that below...)

MY FAVORITE TRACKS: (objective comments afterwards...)
- - Hard White (Up In the Club) - 10/10. Definitely, without a doubt, the hardest song on the album. If you are buying this record to hear an album full of songs like this, you will be disappointed. Expect WAY more tracks like the single, "Let's Roll", rather than "Hard White". Killer song and beat though. But you all know this.

- - Growin' Up In the Gutter - 9/10. The production on this track is fantastic with a slow and quiet flow from Yela over hard and distorted guitars and keys that sound thunderous on my stereo.

- - Animal - 10/10. Maybe my favorite on the album, it's hard to call. Remember when the demo of this song leaked and it sounded really bad? Forget that, if that's all you've heard, you've heard a completely different song. This track has a killer beat and a killer hook (performed by Fefe Dobson), and it's one of Yela's best flows on the record.

- - Write Your Name - 9/10. One of the deeper, slower type songs on the record. This track features perhaps the best hook on the album, but it is poppy a bit, so you've been told. ***AN INTERESTING NOTE: This hook is performed by Mona Moua. If you don't know her, that's understandable. Check this out, ya'll... Prior to this track, Mona Moua was simply a dedicated Yelawolf fan who failed to get into a sold-out Yelawolf concert in Minneapolis, who then took her disappointment home with her and wrote and recorded a song called "Ode To Yelawolf" (performed solo on acoustic guitar and vocals), artistically expressing her disappointment in missing one of her favorite star's concerts. Moua videoed a live performance of her song and posted it to YouTube. Fortunately for Moua, Yelawolf saw the video and had this to say: "It was actually really good. Her melody was good, she could play guitar. I was a bit blown away by how talented she was." Now, she's featured on a Shady Records album. True and incredible story about the unsung hero, which is what this song is about in the first place, so her appearance is perfect in every way on this track.***

- - The Last Song - 9/10. This track is very similar in subject matter to Eminem's old single, "Cleanin' Out My Closet" b/c Yelawolf has dedicated an entire song to saying mean things and rubbing his new found fame in his non-existent father's face. Deepest song on the record. Another slow one.

- - Made In the U.S.A. - 8/10. This one would easily score 10/10 if it weren't for the chorus that ruins the awesome verses by Yelawolf. The chorus is sung by Priscilla Renea, who sounds like a blend of Taylor Swift and Rihanna. The hook did this song wrong, but once again, Yelawolf can save any track b/c of his ability as a rapper.

OK, some objective notes:

Undoubtedly, SOME previous Yelawolf fans are going to be displeased with Yelawolf's new sound and direction on this record. "Trunk Muzik: 0 to 60" contained 1 ballad/pop-rap song. This album has at least 8. My least favorite of the bunch? "Radio". This song is the only song that I simply cannot listen to. It sounds like a boy-band song ("Hit the radio, make a I'm a star... / Internet killed the radio star... / YouTube killed the video star.") REALLY? Ugh... I can see how someone might be disappointed, based solely upon what he's done in the past. But folks, check it out: I listen to new rap records like this: lyrics & flow first, THEN I analyze the beats and production. So lyrics & flow are more important to me, and Yelawolf has really outdone himself on that front, with the exception of a couple of lapses here and there.

While this collection of songs reminds me of the feel of Big Boi's "The Son Of Chico Dusty", it is wholly original and honestly, brave. Yelawolf is a newcomer, despite this being his 2nd release on Interscope. To take steps in this direction is a risky move, but here's the thing... When you try to satisfy everyone on a record, SOME people are bound to be let down. I am not one of those. This is a fantastic collection of songs and a marked improvement over Yela's previous work (which has all been fire already....). Will you like it? Well, put it this way... if you buy rap records for hard beats, no. If you buy hip-hop records with deep inspirational lyrics and utterly impressive lyrical skills & songwriting, yes, you will like it. Now, you know what to expect. Don't kill me, I'm just the messenger.

FINAL VERDICT: (4.5 out of 5). Yelawolf is here to stay. Get used to it, or go do your own thing. Love him or hate him, but Yela is officially not going anywhere any time soon. Great album!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 23, 2011 7:27:24 PM PST
Athlete says:
Great Review. I wish Amazon allowed people to give half stars, I thought this album was a 4.5, but I rounded down to a 4.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2011 3:32:46 AM PST
Hudson says:
@Athlete - Thanks a bunch for the kind words. I also wish the rating system was a little better... I'd personally like to see Amazon change the rating scale to the way IMDB does, 1-10. Then it would rank a 9 I think. Cheers!
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