Nothing Colossal About It
Trying to push the envelope of innovation has always been RJD2’s forte. With an obsession for incorporating live instruments in his tunes, this artist is best known for the genre transcending trip-hop style he has created for himself. Putting together a group of talented musicians from which he creates original samples, RJD2 began creating this album with a quality cornerstone. Even so, the best of us struggle with our nature of monotony, which is most evident in this fourth studio album from RJD2, The Colossus.
With the assistance of a violin build and rhythm of live drumming, The Colossus starts off with the instrumental song “Let There Be Horns”, a catchy number full of, you guessed it, horns, which gives the song a coating of the bass it needs. The next track, “Games You Can Win,” has a basic R&B feel to it and features the downtempo vocals of Kenna with lyrics like “Keep your mouth shut until you get in and only play the games you can win”. The entire album alternates between vocal tracks whose lyrics attempt to cover up a poorly strewn together beat and curtailed instrumental tracks until the last track, “Walk With Me,” which picks up where the horn intro left off and concludes in a dramatic brass crescendo.
While RJD2 may be well versed in mixing (he’s been at it since 1993), his solo studio albums have always left something to be desired. With throwback trends in vogue, The Colossus makes an attempt to exploit this with very basic synth rhythms and retro instrumental placement. While there are some hits here, this album also has more than its share of unadorned misses. It’s clear that RJD2 had a unique concept in mind for this album, but the jury is still out as to exactly what that was.