Still Holdin’ On To What’s Golden
Cries of Jurassic 5 becoming overly radio-friendly or too comfortable in their sound are just some of the claims being circulated by the music elite. While their third album Feedback is definitely their most accessible one to date (as if prior ones weren’t) and the fivesome stick to their modus operandi of funk-driven, ass-bumping melodic hip-hop, describing this album as a disappointment is nothing less than disingenuous.While it may be true that if you’ve heard any prior J5 album, then you’ve heard this one, Feedback remains a formidable addition to Jurassic’s catalogue. The group made famous by soulful and positive sounds amid the thug rap of the 1990s returns with an eye on the past – hip-hop’s golden years. “Radio” and “In the House” are prime examples of this old-school revivalism J5 seems to be embracing – early ’80s-influenced ghetto-box beats saturated in b-boy finesse. Their other eye, the one focused on fun, soulful jams is ever watchful on songs such as “Gotta Understand” and the laid-back single “Work It Out.” To the chagrin of some, the latter features Dave Matthews on the chorus and while this may be seen as a ploy to reach Black Eyed Peas-level fame, the collaboration between these unlikely artists results in a smooth, uplifting song.
If fault is to be found on Feedback, then find it in the overly poppy “Brown Girl” (J5’s response to Fergie?) and the notable absence of Cut Chemist; while Nu-Mark holds his own behind the decks, there is a lack of any standout sampling/scratching. Besides that, Feedback is everything J5 aims to be – quality hip-hop meant to inspire and, more importantly, make you move.