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Album Review: know:Juander – A Kid Love, beta (2009)

Album Review: know:Juander – A Kid Love, beta (2009)

knowjuanderAlbum Review: know:Juander – A Kid Love, beta (2009)
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Potholes

A Kid Love, beta is the debut album from the young rapper/producer (and part-time skater) know:Juander. From the jump, know:Juander makes is known where the album is headed. “Memories” is an fine creative start to an album of introspective investigation – looking back at his own life leading up to the present – and then looking forward, trying to establish a lucrative (yet wholesome) future. The tracks are refreshingly personal, some detailing exact stories of childhood strife, familial bonding, and falling in love, which makes it clear that know:Juander at least has his head in the right place, and understands a great deal of what makes compelling song topics. “Pause That Tape” is a slightly harrowing account of struggle and past events gone wrong, laced over a soft piano track that beautifully fits the back-in-time narrative.

What’s more impressive about this album is that it is entirely know:Juander, save for a guest appearance from Jarell Perry on the closing cut, “Determination”. In addition to rapping, he handles the entirety of the production and mixing, which may actually be the strongpoint of the album. Fraught with a blend of vocals, pianos and horns, know:Juander slips in sample after sample from mellow soul and jazz joints, adding to the meditative vibe of the whole album. There is a very nice flow from track to track and the album, for the most part, plays out in a logical manner.

However, just as with most beginner albums, there are flaws. The opening skit “Memories”, as mentioned before, is a nice introduction of the thematic elements to come; however the album could do without “The Love Beta Interlude”, which falls about halfway through the album. And during this track, the content and concept of A Kid Love, beta is verbally spoon-fed to the listener, thus taking away any thrill or mystery of allowing the listener to figure it out independently. Furthermore, the album as a whole hints at the extremely raw nature of this emcee. Sure, he has bright ideas, but there is much room for improvement in the flow and delivery departments. And his rhymes, which are fairly simple, would greatly benefit from a heavy dose of creative innovation. All in all, A Kid Love, beta is a decent release from a raw artist who has potential to make a nice name for himself someday.

rating-two-and-half

4 Comments

  1. agropal
    Feb 15, 2012 @ 15:37:00

    Sorry for the necroposting. But this review somehow crossed my path. I’ve had the album since it hit downloads in 09. I have to honestly say with all things considered in know’s position, this had to be one of the best albums I’ve ever laid ears on as a whole. You’re review was excellent, but the -2.5 benchmarks are quite harsh (unless your intent wasn’t to imply whackness, but only foreseeing the potential this artist has). His delivery seemingly lacked a certain “punch”, but delivery is “delivery” no matter what is brought. His tone and enunciation was monotonous, straightforward and poetic throughout the album. Seemed to be the intent in my eyes. There are times where emceeing is called for a heavy vocal delivery on tracks, but when it comes to memoirs I don’t think it’s so necessary. As for his, rhymes…no where in the album did I find simplicity. I like my music to give me something different from what I heard previous every time I play back a song. I still get that 3 years later from this album. This album is definitely not a “one and done” listen. I like it more and more each time I give it a listen through. In terms of his meter, he offers a great flow. His flow is a little downplayed due to his “weaker” delivery, but it is there. Lastly, your point on the interlude makes sense. But I think that’s more of an awareness to listeners who may not pick up album concepts as easy as some knowledgable heads. Yeah, mystery offers better artistic value, but why does everything need to be so obscure to be truly great?

    I agree, know can capitalize so much on his potential and what he has brought to the table so far…that thought is SCARY. The kid is an animal.

    p.s. Love the way you write reviews even when I share differences here and there. Makes it that much better. Gets people to talk about music.

  2. Matt
    Feb 24, 2010 @ 23:17:00

    yeah this shit is definitely better than 2.5/5…

  3. Mixxer
    Nov 25, 2009 @ 08:28:07

    Don’t think we listened to the same tape because there is no way its 2.5/5…maybe 3.5/5. This is way better than an average album

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