This is the best summer soundtrack to come out in a long time. Living in Southern California, I can definitely say that although life is not quite as how Shwayze describes in his debut album, his beats, words, and soul are really the kind of sounds one gets used to bumping on a stereo driving down a Southern California highway.
It was only 3 years ago, that his first single, "Buzzin'" was released on to the airwaves. A small reality show with MTV soon followed as well as the releases of "Corona and Lime" and "Don't Be Shy". However, I think that its the songs that didn't make it as singles that really speak to the kind of guy and rapper that Shwayze and can be. His mellow and relaxed tracks like "Lazy Days" and "Roamin" make for perfect driving songs along the beach. "Polaroid" and "Mary Jane" are slightly more upbeat songs, but still provide that laid-back feel needed for the summer.
I really like this album. Shwayze is one of those young rappers who seems to be coming up in the music game. He is partnered with famed rock-star and party-boy, Cisco Adler, who provides the accompanying guitar and vocals. Is Shwayze for everyone? No, but if you're looking for the perfect purchase to bump at your next summer bash, buy this album. When everyone starts asking you, "Hey man, what's that great music bumping on the stereo?", you'll think me.
The self-entitled album comes from the California "alternative Hip Hop" act, Shwayze, who are a rapper, who uses this name, and Cisco Adler (formerly of Whitestarr). However before you start to think you are in for some underground, Jurassic 5 or Dilated Peoples-esque stuff, then you are mistaken, as this is basically an Indie Rock album with Shwayze rapping and Adler doing some Indie vocals over all of the songs. I didn't like the singles "Buzzin'", or "Corona and Lime", however I hoped to uncover some of this underground Hip Hop.
Initially, I attempted to break all the trakcs, down, but due to its lack of variation, it made it very difficult. Since it is so short too, means that it is very clear that you are basically getting the same tune repeated, but a different theme being put forward. However at times even this isn't clear.
All of the tunes are structured pretty much the same throughout. You get Cisco singinn simple hook, which woudl be nice in their right setting (a Rock track), however it just doens't work here. Then from there Shwayze raps in a below average manner
I would have to liken the rapper to Travis McCoy (from Gym Class Heroes) in terms of how they go about doing things. It is in a way that never fit in anywhere. However McCoy completely out-does him whn it comes to quality as Shwayze seems to be too heavily influenced by his up-bringing in Malibu.
You should be aware that it is strange for a rapper to come from such a well-to-do are such as this, and frankly I see it is him exploiting his race to try to get into the Hip Hop game. This is a failed attempt as he brands it as "alternative", whereas he's just rapping about nothing of any relavence to anything. This preppy style is one that I see as a cheating way out of not being able to do Gangsta Rap (without being ripped by others in the industry.
Most of the tracks are poor quality ndie ones, but at the start and end you get "Roamin'" and "Flashlight", which are more like Hip Hop cuts. However these brief offerings do little to convince you that they are supposed to be categorised as this.
The themes don't tend to change much throughtout, and what they concern doesn't appear to be worth mentioning. This is all the case for all of them, apart from in "James Brown Is Dead", where the sbject is clear, but poorly done as they simply describe the thing they did upon hearing this information. No siginificance of the event is explored at all, so it just isn't doing what it is designed to do. You aslo get "Mary Jane", and the name has been used many times, starting with Rick James, to mean cannabis, and a suppose this is probably a theme in this one, but its not very clear at all.
I really can't see why anyone would want to get this album. I can understnad for the lead single "Buzzin'" got such a big reception and was praised for its originality with a top 50 slot in the Billboards, but Shwayze shouuld be brought down as nothing more than a one-hit-wonder.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Lazy Days
3 Corona and Lime
5 Don't Be Shy
8 James Brown Is Dead
9 Lost My Mind
10 Mary Jane
11 Lazy Susan
12 Flashlight - Dave Navarro, Shwayze