Bossalinis & Fooliyones
Ringo P. Stacey
, October 30th, 2012 11:05
Sometimes it pays to cut the crap and get straight to the key issue. Yeah, The Quietus is rarely so crass but sometimes it's unavoidable. Here's the crux: 6/10. Could've been 8/10 if they'd cut it down to forty minutes, but they didn't, so...there you go. Got it rocktards and other curious onlookers? The album is not the zeitgeist, you don't really need to pay attention.
Sorry to start off on such a bummer, but when the hype is rising, bloggers are saying Main Attrakionz are going to 'change the face of the planet as we know it' and the crew are claiming everything they do is a 'self made classic' some prick's got to burst a few balloons.
To be sure, those dedicated enough to persevere are not wasting their time. Bossalinis & Fooliyones is, at worst, an amiable enough diversion, at best it's very entertaining. Squadda B and Mondre M.A.N. rarely stray away from west-coast gangsta lyrical cliches but their performance is warm, mostly open and engaging. They're good company. They're both stoners, but Mondre's love for the weed seems more sincere, given the way he mumbles most of his lyrics.
Squadda B's performance is unhinged enough to suggest chemical assistance, but more expressive and energetic than you'd expect from a hardcore stoner. But their best moments come as a duo, either trading lines on the opener 'Green On Sight' or crooning some beautifully painful harmonies on the sleazy soul of 'Cloud Life'.
It's perhaps in the singing you can hear most clearly the true form of their talent. They can let go, they are uninhibited. A song like 'Bury Me A Millionaire' would be just another monotonous ode to wealth if it wasn't the duo's gloriously mangled pleading on the hook. Other tracks are less impassioned and less convincing, especially given that they don't have a whole ruck of talent elsewhere.
They have decent taste in music, they've spent the requisite time studying old UGK, 8Ball & MJG and Clipse records, they pay respect without being godawful bores like, say, Big K.R.I.T. can be sometimes. But they're not lyrically complex enough to really engage the brain. Their taste in beats is almost offensively inoffensive, though they should be commended for at least attempting some variety with the comparatively trad east-coast flavours of 'Liquor Runs' and '24th Hour'. Obviously they've got a few Wu-Tang albums filed away somewhere as well.
What they don't appear to have at this point is any ideas of their own. Indeed, they've spent a fair part of their pre-release promo interviews bragging about how they co-opted the two most novel concepts on the record, 'cloud rap' and their somewhat tenuous (though righteous) re-definition of 'lo-fi'. This isn't so much a criticism of Bossalinis & Fooliyones, it's hard to bear a grudge when they carry off their opportunism with such panache, but it does suggest the confidence of 'Love Is Life' and Mondre's confession that “I think we made it" may be a tad premature. Sure they've made it... somewhere... but can they maintain? We'll see, but with the energy flagging so badly over the course of single album, it's hard to believe they'll be able to summon what's required to sustain them over a long career.