I may be behind but hear is one release that many people seem to be waiting on before stepping out to cop, the newest Shady Records release from the 'other white guy' Yelawolf. Heralded as someone bringing something new to the game, the Alabama native has been featured on a lot of Southern albums and grinding for the past few years before Marshall Mathers snatched him up. The first of the releases from Shady 2.0, my album review of Yelawolf's album "Radioactive" is as follows:
the "Radioactive Introduction" is an awkward demonstration of Yelawolf's off-beat style and will definately throw some people off as he gets started with an off-and on-again flow. The lead single features Kid Rock and is called "Let's Roll". A non-offensive hip-hop soft country rock mix it was made directly to hit the pop markets heavily. The Lil Jon produced and featured "Hard White" is a hard edged club banger with Yela attempting to show a lyrical yet harder side following the previous pop mash-up. "Growin' Up in the Gutter" featuring Rittz has a dark brooding track but Yela's vocals are hard to understand both with his flow and volume and the song fails to deliver the angst it's rock chorus would have you to believe.
"Radio" is a solid joint just about music in general and the landscape from artists to outlets. Shawty Fatt and Mystikal are featured guests on "Get Away" about escaping from life. "Made in the U.S.A." is a typical 'where I come from' track but it isn't bad. The hook features Priscilla Renae while the 'chick track "Good Girl" features Poo Bear. Same thing with "The Hardest Love Song in the World" which is a little better and has the modern hipster guitar tones holding it down. "Write Your Name" with Mona Muua is a throwaway unfortunately. Eminem is only featured on one song, which also has Gangsta Boo and is called "Throw It Up". The Eminem verse is worth hearing but it isn't going to be on his best of tape unless you just want to hear the part where he mocks the "swag" style of rap.
Pop sensation Fefe Dobson is on "Animal" which isn't about much of anything and her part is better than Yelawolfs. "Slumerican Shitizen" featuring Killer Mike is about the oft-ignored citizens of the dredges of society, aka the hoods and slums of America. Well trod territory but it is one of the better songs on the album. "Everything I Love the Most" is supposed to be about how the things he loves the most harm him but I didn't follow the verses too much. Meanwhile "The Last Song" is the most poignant song on the album as wolf dedicates one to those who doubted him or spoke to him or left him wrongly.
He has three bonus tracks but i'm not sold on anyone needing to hear any of those. Overall the album is more of an acquired taste. While I'm pretty sure he has some lyrics, between his flow and the varied sounds and feels of the songs, it can be hard to follow unless you dedicate yourself to doing just that. He has some standard concepts but the biggest failing i think is the mash-up of a slight rock feel with hip-hop. Nothing ever really stands out and the numerous features while needed for their purposes lack the real star power to help drive some of the cuts. Unfortunately the album becomes too easy to tune out even with Yelawolf's odd voice and delivery.