Its refreshing to put in a hip-hop disc and not have it bogged down with guest spots featured on every track. In fact, none of the songs on Felt 3: A Tribute to Rosie Perez have any star appearances - besides the rapping duo of Slug (Atmosphere) and Murs, combined with producer, Aesop Roc - as the pair returns with promises of everything you love about rap in one disc.
Aesop Rock definitely makes his presence felt, with more electronic-styled beats than Im accustomed to with Slug and Murs sharing the mic. To be honest, I was a bit worried that the laid back styles of the rappers wouldnt mesh with Aesop Rocks more schizophrenic style. All that worry was for naught, as the record has a feel somewhere between dancey and aggressive, but with spacey and heavy moments sporadically appearing throughout. Still, it doesnt get bogged down by experimental sounds. Murs shows a lot of range, getting more aggressive when the beat calls for it, and accentuating more diversely than Slug, who mostly rhymes in familiar territory, though both make stylistic adjustments to suit the beats.
If youve heard either of the first two Felt records, or the rappers other projects, the content is familiar. There are allusions to non-mainstream rock, classic rap, and an emphasis for the underdog. Both rappers often focus on storytelling angles around out-of-step women, and Permanent Standbye and Henrietta Longbottom continue this style. The storytelling songs are definitely the groups most interesting. There is a palpable chemistry as Slug and Murs have worked together for a while now, and their styles are well-suited for each other, playing off the others rhymes smoothly, but adding their own nuances to the subject matter.
Where the record fails is in length. Considering its relatively quick production, the disc feels bogged down with unnecessary tracks. It would have been more powerful if limited to fifteen or so cuts instead of the twenty-one that made the final version. Songs like Get Cake and The Clap feel like incomplete ideas that were thrown on the record to mix things up, without offering anything substantial.
Felt 3 is a worthy pickup for fans of the artists, but as they say in the intro, they arent a real group, and at times it shows that the album was a studio project of friends having fun, more than as a collaboration of high art.
6.9 / 10
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