By: Alden I. Bula
Album Review : Testimony
Artist : August Alsina
Genre : Rap and R and B
I was kind surprise with this album. Looking at its cover, you would think that this is in the same league with Lil’ Wayne, Young Jeez, and other hate rap artist that you are familiar with.
Testify – a kind of song which has stamp of John Legend; piano and some kind of emotional vocals. It even has the same pattern like with Mr. Legend songs. Slow at first, then breaks in between stanza and you would think that it will segue to faster beat.
Make It Home – probably a continuation of the intro song, however, after listening to this song, you might get the idea that you are hearing stuffs R Kelly, Usher, and other smooth R and B and rap artist did early on their career. The melody and the musical instruments were just right and you really can imagine going home in this music or pleading for someone to be back home ASAP.
Right There – the third song in the album, and in this piece, you can conclude that this rap artist has a style of his own. Like with the first two songs, you have difficulty deciding if the main lyrics are the one uttered in the background or the ones that you hear audibly. There is a two-fold element; interspersing background vocals with main vocals.
You Deserve – the first non-rap song in the album. Good for swaying your hips discreetly or just plain head and shoulder movement. Again, feels like listening to Usher and some melodious songs from Jay Z. Without the vocals, you might think that the song is a Motown melody.
No Love – one thing that you notice in the first four songs were the use of drums conservatively. Like the previous songs, this piece is easy on the drums; no banging that hurts your ear and vibrates through your chest. Surprisingly, already in his fifth song in this record, you still have to hear the usual f and n words most artists are fond of peppering in their rap creations.
Porn Star – in this song, you might thought that the album is miscategorised in terms of genre. You can observe that the artist is fond of using trip hop and ambient music to introduce the song. As the title impress upon, it mimics what you frequently hear in soundtrack music in some porn movies. The background melody and music is enough to imagine erotic dreams.
FML – finally, you have a rap song that you usually hear with rap albums. Pure synthesizer and lot of “oh wa” mix with pleading for love lyrics. And you get to hear the “N” word finally.
Grind and Pray / Get You Money – more of the same at this point, you get the feeling that it becomes boring.
Ghetto – what is this? Backward masking, I just don’t understand the background music. Very confusing, like an amateur tinkering with instruments.
Kissing on My Tattoos – the piano background doesn’t work here, with vocals that you can only partially heart what he is rapping about. As a whole, the association of his music with that of Bone Thugs N’ Harmony is still apparent.
Ah Yeah ¬ – don’t know what he is trying to accomplish with clapping background and vocals in the lower octave as background and main vocals rapping the same words. It is quite difficult to comprehend if he is trying to impress various musical styles, or just another idea on how to fill songs for his record.
Mama _ I expected to be sullen in this song. But I find the marching like tempo in the background distracting. Maybe it is his method of telling everyone that his Mom died already and this is supposed to be a tribute song for her.
Benediction With Rick Ross as his duet partner, you would expect a rap song with no melody just pure drum and bass. Fortunately, you have a song that is good. I expect that it will have a remix version and will catapult him in Billboard Dance Charts.
I Love This Shit – ok, here comes the shit song. This is an unexpected song considering the title. It is quite bouncy not the usual hate rap song when you factor the title.
Numb – very Coolio, that’s all I can say with this song.
Grind and Pray (Extended Bonus Track) – nothing much that can be said here.
I Love This Shit (Extended Bonus Track) – not what I expected as dance remix, typical bonus tracks with lots of featured artist.
My verdict on this album, you can use the skip and forward button if you feel you are listening to the same song. My rating is 2 ½ star out of five stars.