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Lerix | Audio Arcade

Album review by John Powell

Lerix | Audio Arcade

Audio Arcade starts with the most fun, old school Atari style video game synth intro, which makes me smile every time. This isn’t the overall flow of the album, however. Lerix’ newest release is meant for big speakers, whether it’s in a club or the car. His slow-style hip hop is blunt-blazing as much as it’s grooving.

“Here’s to the renegades,” he says at the start of “Last Laugh”, as he toasts the people “pressing play.” Although the sound initially sounds bent on cash, chicks, and big cars, Lerix has a sharp sense of responsibility and uses his ability of fat beats and good flow to promote partying smart- not to say he’s square, though. Read on:

In fact, “I Got This” has an amazing beat, driven by fast flying strings (high-end cello, I think), a simple kick and snare, and bongos. Then he just sets off with some of the best raps I’ve heard since Blitz the Ambassador. “Passing on the smoke/’cuz I’m a Jameson enthusiast,” and later, “The ones that used to verbally chastise/now become believers when I verbally baptize.” The song suits the title, going off about how he’s in control of the mic and the night, so sit back and worry about yourself. “I’m another smart alec/that discovered he could rap.” Good, right?

“I’m No Good” fails, however. In an attempt to have a heart, Lerix samples a woman breaking up with a man on his message machine. The beat is weak, with a too-sharp snare clap and held out organ that doesn’t fit the beat. In the chorus, when he semi-sings, “I wish that I was/but I’m no good,” the word “good” is filtered through an echo and warped into a deep growl that has no positive affect. “I was hurt before/many times/so I started treating love like the survival of the fittest.” Again, I’m not knocking Lerix’ flow. He’s good even in a bad song, but there’s nothing new on “I’m No Good”.

Then, with “Catch Up With You Later”, Lerix smartens up. The piano sample here is sweet and melodic, very jazz/R&B, and it’s not about a girl, but about a friend. “When we were badass kids/hollerin’, ‘Can we have this?’/runnin’ around the crib/doin’ gymnastics on the mattress.” The intention behind the song is clear because Lerix raps like he absolutely means it. I love this track.

The best song on this EP is “One Life”, anthemic and club-ready. The beat is freaking solid, with giddy bass, synth bleeps, and crowd noises. “We all got our hands to the ceiling,” Lerix describes the scene. “I’m a workaholic addicted to goal-settin’,” he adds in the second verse. This is where I love Lerix the most, when he’s inspiring and speaks to the people. “I am suggesting that we live out our passions,” he says, and the idea that such a song doesn’t have to be focused around hoes, Cristal, and other things I know nothing about. Instead, anyone can connect with Lerix because he’s good at what he does and he talks about things we like to hear.

Bottom line: Audio Arcade is ready for your subwoofer. Put it on.


 

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