Review of New Album Something Else by Tech N9ne
Tech N9ne, we love Tech N9ne right? Well his new album Something Else is a little different to what some might expect. Before you hit the panic button, “something different” isn’t polite code for a bit rubbish. Something Else, shows a degree of music diversity some may not associate with Tech N9ne. Kansas boy Tech N9ne boasts guitar riffs and heavy metal undertones, mixed with versatile beats and on some tracks real heavy music.
The experimental (or risk taking) elements to the album, is represented perfectly by Riot Maker. The track itself serves up pretty much a selection of sounds like are as complex as the ingredients to a Gordon Ramsey dish. Riot Maker also serves the perfect backdrop to Something Else, providing controversy, complexity and contradiction, one could argue, it underpins the very construct of man itself. Something Else, tells a great story and sends you on a voyage through the full spectrum of Tech N9ne‘s mind – the evil and the good.
The album draws on some amazing guest appearances, Tech N9ne or at least his management, must have a brilliant address book. Names including The Doors, Game, Cee Lo Green, Kendrick Lamar, Big K.R.I.T. and Serj Tankian all add to the kaleidoscope nature of Something Else. The mixmatch of such different names and styles, could prove a production nightmare, but not on Something Else. The production is first class, it combines classic hip hop with edgy rock and Indie Sounds. A bit of RnB thrown in for good measure. It should be a mess, but it isn’t, somehow there seems to be a uniformed sound that flows throughout.
Haunting and sinister, the Fire tracks represent the dark, yet vivid imagery and thoughts within Tech N9ne. Songs like the terrorizing Straight Out The Gate which blend Rock and orchestral sounds, featuring System of a Down’s lead vocalist Serj Takian, are a good example of flawlessly marrying genres. Meanwhile, Fragile finds Tech N9ne and Kendrick Lamar annihilating a clear-cut beat through their bars with a concise delivery, while expressing disdain for critics. And Kendall Morgan’s emotive vocals entice the track making it a contender for best on the album.
Water is a chapter that is introduced by Tech N9ne and as you would expect is a little lighter than other components on the album. Guests abound but sometimes don’t bring much aside from name recognition, and the most lighthearted portion of Something Else almost becomes monotonous in its goal to break up the heaviness it’s sandwiched between.
For all its complexities, contradiction and insane mixes of styles, Something Else is one of the most real albums in terms of content for some time. Yes the music choices may be with a commercial angle in mind, but upon listening, you really get a feeling you are getting a glimpse in to Tech N9ne.
I am a little surprised I am saying this, but Something Else by Tech N9ne is one of my favourite albums of the year so far. Make sure you listen.
Read more from the Urban Section of Music Eyz