Monday, August 9, 2010

ǝpısdn uʍop (Review) - Bei Maejor

(All songs produced by Bei Maejor unless noted)
Part 1: The ǝpısdn Down Story
1. End of the Night | 2:06 | 4 - 4.25
2. Kisses in the V.I.P | 4:22 | 4 - 4.5
The beginning part reminds me somewhat like Taeyang, not sure why.
3. Order What U Want | 3:53 | 3.25 - 3.75
Sometimes, theres no problem with doing blatantly pop-mainstream songs if the songwriting isn’t reprehensible.
4. Barbershop Talk (The Explanation) (Featuring Clinton Sparks) | 6:02 | 3.25 - 3.75
The boom-bap freestyled atmosphere is certainly an interesting way to put things. The story is quite interesting, and for a pop songwriter he definitely has his own creative lane.

Part 2: ǝpısdn uʍop Songs
5. Gone | 4:01 | 3.25 - 4
Creative concept, though it lacks that extra mile to really pull the vacation concept through.
6. All Night | 4:07 | 3.25 - 3.75
It took some time, but someone has successfully done the J.R Rotem on “Don’t Stop Believin.”
7. Boxers | 4:17 | 3.5 - 3.75
8. Gamez (Featuring Keri Hilson) | 3.25 - 3.75
Surprising that this song doesn’t sound totally ridiculous, actually it isn’t that bad of a song.
9. I’m On It (Featuring T-Pain) | 3:33 | 3.25 - 3.75 (Produced by All Star)
The T-Pain hook + melody make it sound like that DJ Khaled song, All I Do Is Win. Also, why is Madvillain’s, Accordian playing in the background?
10. Drinks On Me (Featuring Trey Songz) | 4:01 | 3.25 - 3.75 (Produced by Tim Bosky & Bel Maejor)
11. July (Featuring Drake & Jhene Aiko) | 4:36 | 3.75 - 4
12. She Was (A Broken Love Story) | 4:07 | 4 - 4.25
The production really brings this rather-typical story into better heights.
13. Facelifts & Waterfalls | 5:16 | 3.25 - 3.75 (Produced by Boi-1da)

Overall Rating: Part 1 | 14.75 - 16 | 76% | Solid; few major reservations; TRY IT
Part 2 | 30.75 - 34.75 | 72% | Impressive; well above average; TRY IT
Part 1 & 2 | 45.25 - 51 | 74% | Impressive: well above average; TRY IT

“Wow, I’m never that lucky.”
Much like Clinton Sparks, that was the same quote I had after the first part of this ǝpısdn Down Story was left to be continued on. The first two songs, End Of The Night, with it’s cluttering, boombastic drums, and Kisses in the V.I.P, a simple piano that expands on to a true song, are both highlights in this simple four part story. It really doesn’t matter whether they help drive the storyline on, because most of the story is explained in the little skits that are intelligently placed in the end of each song (except End Of The Night) Order What You Want is a simple, smartly written pop attempt and Barbershop Talk takes a definite left with the boom-bap retro throwback storytelling production.

Essentially this story is about Bei Maejor struggling between two women, who just happen to be a bad daughter and her equally bad mother (You know what I’m talking about) Throughout the mere four tracks, it’s a budding concept, and I’m pretty sure that Bei Maejor is going to expand on this in another mixtape or his eventual album. Bei Maejor has ghost-written and produced for a while, so his talents are definitely not to be wasted. Part 1 pretty much doesn’t have any flaws, and while none of it is perfect, it’s certainly creative, and that kind of artistic integrity is interesting in this current environment.

Much like Part 2 was called on the mixtape back cover, Part 2 is basically ǝpısdn uʍop songs, because there’s no real concept throughout each song that continues on. Obviously with Bei Maejor as a pop-pandering artist, one can expect many blatant pop attempts, and that’s already obvious from the get-go, from the melodic, innocent-piano laced, Gone. Gone is an interesting solo Bei Maejor song in particular, mostly because of it’s subject matter. While you’ve got a “Don’t Stop Believin’,” cover basically in All Night, and him talking about girls wearing boxers, Gone, at least talks about not having enough money to bring a girl on vacation. Bei Maejor as a solo artist can certainly hold his own, and while his voice isn’t turning ears, much like fellow R&B contemporary artist The-Dream, Bei Maejor knows how to make the song (But to a much lesser extent)

Bei Maejor has been doing this for a while, and his knack for specific sounds and lyrics definitely showcases in the three obvious radio-crossover songs, from Gamez to Drinks On Me. Gamez, along with that sexy Keri Hilson hook is actually not a totally ridiculous song, in fact, I wouldn’t really be surprised hearing this a couple of times if the radio snags it up quickly enough. Even further, I wouldn’t even mind hearing this out, because the pop-atmosphere, bright, breezy, and light, is exactly what this song is about. However, I’m On It and Drinks On Me aren’t terrible attempts, but their the most obviously cliched subject mattered songs. Typical T-Pain and Trey Songz hooks don’t really help matters (even though I like Trey Songz hooks), because both of these hooks sounds pretty damn forced. I was singing a little to the T-Pain hook, but the Trey Songz hook is one of the most laziest I’ve heard in a while. Yet, all of this is merely coasting for the young star, so I expect more from him.

So exactly why am I pulling so much for the young star, even if my comments seemed so deragatory? It’s pretty much all due to the impressive production and engineering skills the young singer has. Two songs specifically show the varied production schemes that Maejor can exhibit, and these songs are July and She Was (A Broken Love Story) July has a twinkling, innocent flair to it’s small pianos and plucking strings, with Bei Maejor singing about an unknown woman whose due date is July, along with a coasting Drake verse. She Was (A Broken Love Story) is a story about a young football star, and just requires a listen to get through. Yet, what wins this over is the production, with this song starting with an A Milli styled -strings introduction, and then continuing on to a teeter-tottering strings and acoustics train, as the story accelerates at an exhilirating pace.

As we conclude with Facelifts & Waterfall, a rather standard song mostly interesting for the confessional / biographical nature that Bei Maejor takes, we're pretty much left with a pop-debut album, if anything. Bei Maejor was someone I didn't really get into in my inital listens, because I pretty much expected a typical Jason Derulo, Range, or Iyaz kind of person, someone that wasn't interesting or distinguishable from the numerous established acts. Instead, what I got was someone else, an aspiring artist that's previously established himself in the industry, but not in the mainstream world, where he truly belongs. Bei Maejor isn't extrodinary, in either singing or rapping, but what I previously stated about The-Dream, Bei Maejor knows how to make the song, and these songs happen to make albums.

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