Monday, March 21, 2011

TRAVIS BARKER: GIVE THE DRUMMER SOME



Interscope

As a fan of Travis Barker's innovative beats, is it wrong to expect his "solo album" to contain a few genuinely breathtaking moments of rhythmic insanity? Instead, drumming takes a backseat to the biggest hip-hop reunion party since Christmas dinner at Tom Hanks' house. And there's nothing worse than a bunch of rappers in designer cardis trying to get their rock on, spitting lines like, "...the rhyme tempest, like lightning bolts being thrown down from Mount Olympus, beat on your head like the Travis Barker cymbal... Crash!"

There are two "rock" songs on Give the Drummer Some. Which, as you can imagine, sound pretty out of place. "Saturday Night",
a Transplants reunion featuring Slash on guitar, is probably the worst song on the album. Tim Armstrong sounds like he phoned in a few lines he scribbled down on Sunday morning and Slash sounds like Santana with Down syndrome. Corey Taylor's song, "On My Own", sounds more Bon Jovi than Slipknot.

Rap-wise, all the lyrics just sound so uncomfortably cheesy. Like everyone's playing someone else - or themselves in a fun house mirror. And what the hell's up with everyone pointing out that they're collaborating with Travis Barker, on every song? We get it. You're rapping on Travis Barker's album. He's a "rock" drummer. Cymbals sound loud...

Still, I couldn't help laughing at lines like, "Travis on the drums, Travis on the beat, Wayne got the smoke and Game got the heat", "Blink 182 times when you see the Twista with Travis" and "Sipping on the liquor, 182 proof". Even Tom Morello sounds out of sorts playing guest guitar on "Carry It". And wait 'til you hear Steven Aoki's brain-aneurysm-trance closer "Misfits".

On paper, it should work. Or at least, could work. But it doesn't! Mostly, everyone sounds like an extreme caricature of themselves. From Cypress Hill and Tim Armstrong, to Tom Morello, Lil Wayne and Travis Barker himself. The only song worth a few minutes is "City of Dreams", featuring Clipse and Kobe.

The full lineup of A-list guest stars includes: Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Swizz Beatz, Game, Pharrell, Lupe Fiasco, RZA, Raekwon, Tom Morello, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, E-40, Dev, The Cool Kids, Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf, Twista, Busta Rhymes, Lil Jon, The Transplants, Slash, Kid Cudi, Tech N9ne, Bun B, Beanie Sigel, Kobe, Cypress Hill, Corey Taylor, Paul Wall, Jay Rock, Karupt, Clipse and Steve Aoki.




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