More Is Than Isn’t

by JC Alvarez
Tuesday Oct 8, 2013
More Is Than Isn’t

The marriage of hip-hop with any other genre is always an interesting mix. Very few artists in contemporary music can make it happen, and achieve pop-chart success. RJD2 also known as RJ Krohn, has managed to keep himself relevant for over a decade. Blending hip-hop and electronica, and still making it sound emotional and soulful is an unprecedented feat and well achieved on the artist's new release "More Is Than Isn't."

Combining intricate riffs and syncopated drumbeats, the album's track list easily runs the gamut of multiple musical genres. It's impossible to find anything that won't resonate brilliantly from the speakers on "More,"which at times sounds like disco, and other times like jazzy funk. Though most of the tracks are instrumental lounge beats, RJD2 has aligned himself with some very cool acts for some of the best collaborations of the season.

The hip-trippy "Behold, Numbers!" is a dance floor confection with notes and nods to 70's disco. "Bathwater" featuring P. Blackk has one of the best arrangements on the album, and the lyrics riff swiftly along the track's electro-guitar licks! "It All Came to Me in a Dream" with Blueprint, has an old Motown, Marvin Gaye-like swing to it that features a deliciously "real" narrative. The track demands it be listened to very carefully.

What the album lacks, but perhaps it's not the fault of the artist, is a sense of cohesion. The album feels like a series of singles, with interludes delicately placed to carry the listener from one experience to another. Usually RJD2 has succeeded in achieving this in the past, as evidenced on his debut "Deadringer" and its follow-up "Since We Last Spoke," but "More Is Than Isn't" is far from disappointing.

In fact perhaps that is its greatest charm, as tracks evolve into epic moments within their own arrangements. For an example of that just listen to "Got There, Sugar?" perhaps RJD2's best track, elevating his opus to new levels of hip-hop/electronica dominance.

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".


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