Tuesday, February 2, 2010

When Kurious Was All Great

Kurious released just one record since his last single on Columbia in 1994 until his return in 2008 with his awesome demo EP and lackluster comeback CD, II. And that record is the single "All Great" on Stonegroove Recordings, which dropped in 2001.

Predictably, this is middle-of-the-road Kurious material... not as funky as A Constipated Monkey, but better than most of the material on II. It's a single song 12" with two mixes of the one song "All Good," both coming in Clean, Dirty and Inst. versions. The A-side is produced by Celph Titled; and while it lacks the rich, soulful samples of his early work, instead sounding like it was made out of studio-created sounds. But despite that, it's catchy. It's got some very upbeat percussion, a head-nodding bassline and some fresh horn stabs. The hook features some very Premiere-like scratching by DJ Cheapshot (of Styles of Beyond). Lyrically, it's pretty solid, with Kurious doing his usual style of thoughtful freestyles:

"On a lifelong search for what's divine;
It's gettin' kinda hard to find an openin' line.
I met a wise man who said it's all in the mind.
I'm feelin' like I'm God and the devil at the same time."

Solomon comes on at the end to kick a short sing-songy verse:

"Players get played on;
We're gettin' sick and tired of the same song.
You're talkin' all this and that - whatcha sayin', dog?
Look at all them cats that ya paid off.
You niggas ain't sellin' dimes and ya ain't raw,
You don't do crimes and you afraid of law.
Now people tell me what y'all came for?
You want more, you only get what you paid for."

Then the B-side is remixed by Cheapshot. Conceptually, the instrumental is pretty much the same... catchy studio sounds. It's a little harder, but still bouncy. I think, personally, I marginally prefer the A-side, but it's a narrow distinction. Which isn't to say that they sound too similar, though. They sound different enough that it's worth having both mixes. It's just that they come in at a photo finish.

So yeah... this single lacks the deep production sound of his early work, but if you like Kurious, you'll like this. It's not must-have status like his debut or his demo, but it's not like we've got hundreds of Kurious records to choose from either.

1 comment:

  1. You summed up this release pretty well.

    I always enjoyed this record for what it was. I prefered one version but I don't know which side it was, don't have the 12" where I'm at right now.

    And yes "II" was disappointing.