April 19, 2007

Review: Red Gone Mild

Print More

3 out of 5 Stars
Redman doesn’t quite deliver on his latest effort, Red Gone Wild. As a whole it is rather mundane, lacking memorable beats, lyrics and anything else. It isn’t bad. It just isn’t really good either. The problem is that there’s nothing to grab the listener’s attention.
Redman, aka the Funk Doctor spits a few witticisms, such as “I get the party bubblin’ like Alka Seltzer Plus,” but lacks in the creativity department for the most part.
One check in the pro column is the wide variety in Red’s backup instrumentals. Although from Newark, NJ, Redman flows over a surprisingly large collection of southern sounding beats, such as “Put It Down” and “Sumtn 4 Urrbody.” Expanding his geographic sound even further, Doc teams up with west coast icons Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg on “Merry Jane,” a track that’s about as g-funk as it gets. The board work on Red Gone Wild also grabs inspiration from more rock-based funk on “How U Like Dat,” and jazz, on “Wutchoogonnado.” Production credits go to hip hop legends Timbaland, Pete Rock and Scott Storch, among others.
The best part of the album is the drum work. The backbone to each song consists of hard hitting, drums that take no prisoners, leaving everybody moving and shaking, succumbing to the infectious rhythm.
On his latest effort, Redman is missing the excitement and rawness he rapped with on earlier releases, most notably Blackout! — his collaboration with Wu Tang’s Method Man. Meth’s appearance on Red Gone Wild suffers from poor decision making in the song’s production. Johnny Blaze tries to make it work over a rather slow and tranquil beat, preventing him from bringing the ferociousness and creativity that defined Blackout!.
Redman’s shortcomings on Red Gone Wild also include two fairly pointless skits. “Mr. Ice Cream Man” and “No Mo Soopaman Luva” take up space and detract from the album, to put it nicely. Guest appearances on the mic from E3, Biz Markie and Erick Sermon fail to give the album a boost.
Red shines brighter on laidback beats such as “Fire” and “Rite Now.” He sounds more comfortable, more at home, on relaxing tracks. Eerie, robotic synths and kick drums that sound like a dungeon door closing take Redman outside his comfort zone on the mysterious “Hold Dis Blaow!” Over gunshots and sword grinding, the Funk Doctor sounds dangerous, almost psychotic. This mood makes for a startling contrast to Red’s usual party animal demeanor.
Red Gone Wild won’t garner much buzz, and it won’t win awards, but it can’t hurt to have it on in the background while you’re going about your business. While this album does keep the listener bobbing along, the Funk Doctor will have to go back to med school before he can find a cure for the common hip hop album.