Sometimes, in music, a mild case of thematic schizophrenia can be a great thing. Artists like David Bowie and Eminem have made their careers on flipping from one mindset / personality to another. More recently, Drake has been heralded and critiqued for his seeming self-awareness or hypocrisy, depending on who you talk to. Well, along those lines, we have Loose Logic and his latest LP, Perception. Much like Drizzy, we have a man torn on what he’s supposed to be. That thematic dichotomy unfortunately spills over into the sound of the album, as Perception is woefully inconsistent.
The album starts out well enough with the opening track, “Cali Dreamin’,” giving a glimpse into the production style which carries through most of the album. The use of sample harmony lines, and layered drum loops is very much the current West Coast sound. Add to that the vocal stylings of Loose Logic himself, his distinct delivery and punch gives weight to the light and airy beat. A strong opening that only barely carries over onto the next track.
When you see “Featuring Jadakiss” on a tracklist, there is an expectation. Jada, is one of hip-hop’s most consistent and prolific MC’s. Having him on a track lends credibility to your music. So, I was disappointed to hear Jada’s distinct voice being used as a sample on the chorus to “Dumb it Down” with no actual bars. It was very much like when Jay-Z and Kanye West gave Oits Redding a feature credit. It may have been a business savvy move by Jadakiss, but it’s also a misleading move by Loose Logic. The track also attempts to harness some of the energy created by Eminem and Rick Ruben on Berzerk. The marriage of break beats and crunchy guitar works, but sounds so derivative. It’s more of a distraction than anything else.
There is a fair amount of introspection on Perception. The personal lyrics about drug addiction on “Cold November,” along with his ex’s overdose, paint vivid pictures of a man suffering, and learning to move on. The narratve is strong, but the delivery leaves much to be desired. On the more personal songs, Logic takes more of a spoken word approach. Lines come almost disjointed and stiff, as if they were written before the music and he is forcing the words into the framework of the beat. On other songs where he is playing up the hip-hip lifestyle, such as “Shake That,” the lyrics are much more free flowing, but lacking in substance. They also turn a complete 180 from the man warning the horrors of addiction. He almost brags about buying out the bar and not being drunk on “Shake That,” and on “Good Drugs” he explains the escape that certain vices can provide. It shows a level of humanity and natural conflict, but may teeter on positive endorsement.
What keeps Perception from being a dud on all fronts, is the tight production. At times, soft and tender, other times filling the speakers with bass and thunder. You’ll never be bored while listening. There is a variety to the music that is appealing, but the lyrical offerings don’t do the beats justice. There is also a hard turn on the last track, “Ava’s Song.” Yes, it is supposed to be an ode to his daughter, but it’s also a guitar driven, soft rock song, out of place on an album that is otherwise completely hip-hop.
Loose Logic has skill, but he needs refinement and focus. The sequencing on Perception feels like a playlist of songs thrown together with no real flow or cohesion. The experience is uneven, and borders more on hypocritical sermon than personal tales of woe, it is interspersed with the occasional mainstream grab. Overall, you have an artist and an album without a clear identity.
Originally published on – Inyourspeakers.com (11/20/2014)