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Non-Prog CD Reviews



Review by Eric Meli

I’ve never really listened to a lot of rap. This CD is a good one, though and I like it a lot. It has a lot of jazz to it along with some bluesy sounds at times. I don’t think it will turn me into a big rap fanatic, but Colabo is a CD worth listening to – whether you like rap or not.  Those who have problems with swearing in their music probably won’t like this, though – or a lot of rap.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 5 at

Track by Track Review
Keyboards and a monologue that sounds like it’s from a movie opens this. As it gets more intense it gains some percussion.
The bass line on this reminds me of The Rolling Stones’ “Miss You.” It has an energetic jazzy groove and an R & B sort of feeling to it. The rap is intense and still smooth.

Run It Back
The percussion carries over from the previous track. This has a more stripped down approach and reminds me a bit of old school hip hop.  There are some cool vocal arrangements here. There’s a smoking guitar solo on this and some mean scratching.
How It Goes Down
The early parts of this have a cool dramatic keyboard oriented sound. The rap is strong.
Harlem Nights feat. Tanya Reed
A great R & B sound starts off here. The rap comes in over a jazzy groove. This is really a great example of jazz meets hip hop in one arrangement.
Turn It Up feat. Ang13
The rap is the main focus of this. It flows in lines of rhyme and there is almost lullaby type music on the song. The chorus is catchy.
Basement Jam
At less than a minute in length, this is a short jazzy, percussive instrumental.
A spoken sound bite starts this. The music and rap come in with a percussive atmosphere.
Relax Your Mind
This is another one that’s jazzy. I like it a lot. It has a smooth groove and some great sounds.
Drumline #2
A drumline (truth in advertising) is merged with sound effects and some scratching. This is cool and kind of reminds me of Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit.” It’s a little weirder, though.
All I Need
Jazzy piano, at times a bit dissonant, makes up the main backdrop for this rap (with some percussion). This is another cool one. A lot of this has an old school jazz feeling to it.
Notes To My Child feat. Devioso
Drums start it and they bring in a cool, bluesy rock-like groove. The backing chorus vocals sound a bit like gospel. I like this one a lot.
In The Streets
Percussion (along with a siren sound) starts it. The rap comes in over this sparse backdrop. Some more music comes in later. This another cool song.

Want It All feat. Wes Restless
A classic R & B texture pervades this track. It has a nice groove.
Starson feat. B.B.L.A.C.K
This is more stripped down. It’s good, but not a favorite. The rap holds the main focus of the song. There is quite a bit of reggae on this, though.

The Math
A mellower groove makes up this song. It’s got a lot of that jazzy element. There’s a great horn solo later.
The World Is Yours
This comes in after some silence, feeling related to the previous cut. It’s a short song that’s basically instrumental. It’s a nice ending.

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