Wednesday, August 15, 2012

[REVIEW] Critic's "Piece of Travel 20" EP

Title: Piece of Travel 20
Artist: Critic
Release: July 24, 2012

01. RX (처방전) (Feat. B-Free)

The backtrack is refreshing and has a head-bobbing beat to it which is hard to find in Critic in my opinion because he usually tends to go for a laid-back, jazzy kind of tune but this one's upbeat which throws me off at first but you get used to it when you keep listening through. The downside of this track is that when B-Free's part comes on, he kind of dominates because he's used to rapping on top of upbeat music and his voice fits well with that. If I can compliment this track in favor of Critic, it's that he sounds so much at ease when he's rapping because he has light pauses in between and continues to rap like it's no big deal, almost like he's freestyling without the effort.

02. Canvas

Anything jazzy is a plus for Critic, and the addition of the saxophone had a nice touch to it. Also, his lyrics from time to time are about overcoming the struggles he faces as a musician and he applied that theme to the lyrics of this song as well with similes like "To me, music isn't like an immature kid biting on a sweet piece of candy, but it takes a chunk of my heart and is a built value to which it gives my life pure joy." With lyrics like this, it definitely makes the saxophone sound almost sad as if it's consoling his woes. Ironic that he's spitting out his worries of music and an instrument can sound as if it's comforting him almost.

03. End (Feat. Nusoul)

I almost want to say that I feel like he picks up the pace in his rap with every passing track? If RX seemed like he had the ease to take light pauses for breathing, it's as if he doesn't breathe at all here in End, yet he manages to still make it sound effortless. I like the balance of it though, the slow jam beat and his fast paced rap which makes me think of old school R&B. And although I'm not a big fan of Nusoul, I like that he featured in it because he made it...well, not to sound cheesy but soulful. I can't really think of anyone else who could have featured for the vocals since it sounds like a R&B song that sounds more sticky than sexy? It's hard to describe but I feel like if this were to be a sexy kind of R&B track, a vocalist with a higher pitch can be used. Perfect featuring and a nice song to listen to when relaxing.

04. 홀로 부르는 노래 (Skit)

I normally don't listen to skits for the fact that a good chunk of skits on albums, mixtapes, EPs, and anywhere else that has skits tend to be cheesy talks in the recording booth which makes my skin crawl. However, this was nice. Easy going beat, reminds me of the sound he had going for his mixtape.

05. Fly Away

Maybe it's because it's his title track of his EP, but I feel like he really emphasized his rhymes more than the other tracks here. Has the same head-bobbing beat to it but the flow seems more choppy? Maybe it's because he sings the chorus so I feel like he takes a 1-2 second pause before the chorus hits which makes the song sound a bit choppy. Doesn't seem too much of a strong track in comparison to the others but I can see why he chose it to be the title since his stronger tracks have featurings.

06. Piece of Travel

I feel like this song would have been a more appropriate title song, not just because the title is the same as the title EP but I feel like it's more of a representative track to show what he is with the hard beat and all. His lyrics are also right on the beat of the track so it sticks well. Kind of has an old Jay-Z vibe to it from the millennium or something.

07. Very Berry Strawberry (Bonus Track)

My favorite track from the EP and it's a bonus track lol. I love it when Critic chooses beats like this because his voice is deep so it goes hand-in-hand with a mellow mood. The beat reminds me of something Blazo would make. For a bonus track, it sounds like something he kind of put together in an hour which fits the idea of a bonus track. Very light to the ears, something easy to listen to when I'm stressed, a feel-good song. Instead of him singing choruses like he does Fly Away, I like it when he doesn't try so much but makes his singing as if he's just humming the tune.

08. 가면 무도회 (Remix by Scary'P)

I loved this when he released it as a single and listened to it for days, even having it on my playlist for my blog. The beat is so damn dramatic in this tango-like way like I'm watching an intense movie and this would be the appropriate soundtrack that plays. And normally with a God-given beat (bless your soul Scary'P), some rappers make the mistake of having the wrong lyrics to go with it, no matter how good the flow is but Critic does it so damn well where he revolves his lyrics around the concept of the beat. The title of this song in English is "Masquerade" and the first verse tells it like it's told:
"The dark gaze that sees me through the cracks of my mask
I freeze at a state unable to withhold the stare
Vaguely, and even more secretively,
The Forbidden Game already crushed
Everyone hides themselves behind that mask
If I try to get closer, I'm afraid that I'll have my soul taken away by the glamorous breath
Trying to get a hold of someone on the streets, everything is a lie when asked in this masquerade
My heart full of dust is dull
If I try to open up my heart, the people with greed that's spread unveil their masks
My lips and hands become my knife
Already alcohol and cigarettes have become my cure
On top of the city that's becoming infected is shadowed by night
The masquerade on the streets have begun"

Rating: 3.5 / 5

If you like the EP, support Critic in purchasing the EP on Yesasia!

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