Release Date: March 18, 2003
Reviewed by Vin Cherubino
Prominent rap-rockers Hed P.E. return with a new direction in their music, less focused on the hip-hop aspect of it and providing more of a party style type of rock this time around. Has this change made the band worse, or has the band made a new milestone in their musical efforts?
Hed P.E. became a well known success after songs like “Bartender” from their previous release hit the airwaves. The fluid transition of smooth hip-hop lyrics and pounding metal beats wowed many a listener. Surprisingly, instead of draining the same ideas from prior releases like many bands have, Hed P.E. decided to lessen up on the hip-hop influence and provide a more driving rock experience then they have before. Excellent songs like “Half the Man”, “Crazy Life”, and “Blackout” are a result of this change, but lackluster tracks are unfortunately a bi-product of this as well.
“Half The Man” is easily the best track on the album. With its incredibly catchy chorus and amazingly fluid beat, it instantly becomes a classic. This track shows the best that has come from the new Hed P.E. sound. Although it is somewhat different, don’t think that Hed P.E.’s trademark scratching, heavy bass, and funk induced sound has completely gone away, it’s still there in all its glory, but it has just matured to a new level. Songs like “Other Side” show a much slower and acoustical side of Hed that has also never really been seen before. Even though it isn’t as amazing as “Half the Man”, it’s still a pretty impressive song from a band that hasn’t been known to make songs like that. “Blackout” also shows the improvement that Hed has made in being able to rock, mixing their previous style with the new. “Suck It Up” is another inspiring song to get pumped up to. The heavy hammering bass provides an immense adrenaline boost, and fits in perfectly at sporting events.
Then again, songs like “Get Away”, which isn’t a bad song at first, is completely ruined by an annoyingly repetitive chorus. Without it, the song could have been another huge plus for the album. The other tracks act as filler, never really showing the best of what Hed can do, and sound uninspired.
In the end, half of the CD is incredible, and half of the CD is easily forgettable. It is easily as enjoyable as previous albums, as long as you are willing to hear a few changes. Hed P.E. has been one of my favorite bands, and although there have been a few changes, they do not disappoint with the new album.