Local CD Revue | Enee One, Shades of Gray, Spitsofrantic 

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Enee One Say Goodnight
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What would you do if you got KRS-One to guest star on your album? Chances are, most of us would blow it by letting fanboy admiration get in the way of producing a quality track. Enee One doesn’t blow it. On “Radio (No Matter What You Do),” the legendary rapper rips through choruses like it’s his own album, but Enee One keeps him on a short leash. In fact, Enee keeps it so cool that, when they’re trading choruses, he out-performs KRS-One. If “Radio” is indicative of anything, it’s Enee’s uncanny ability to pay homage to the old school while also taking it to the next level. Say Goodnight is ripe with mid-’90s (we can consider that old school now, right?) strings and hard-hitting beats topped with an impressive delivery and emotion typical of today’s up-and-coming independent acts (Brother Ali, Mac Lethal, etc). Enee One keeps his music personal and potent; just listen to “So Cold” and try not to be moved.
MySpace.com/EneeOne

Shades of Gray Come to the Window

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Shades of Gray are testament to the triumph of band nerds (potential groupies, take note). It might be unfair to assume these four young lads were/are nerds, but it would certainly explain why Come to the Window is so effin’ tight. The album effortlessly blends together a diverse palate of genres, making it look nearly easy to play jazz, blues, funk or reggae. A scorching guitar solo propels the record on opening track “Talk Is Cheap,” a bluesy swinger that could set the house on fire once the organ kicks in for the chorus. “Demon-Ishd,” the album’s highlight, is a truly odd jazz number filled with oboe solos stuttering trumpets, and even a rap (!). Technical prowess aside, Shades could take a lesson in self-editing; many of the songs drag on and feel a little too indulgent. But, once the chain-gang Southern blues of the title track stops, you may feel like you haven’t got enough.
MySpace.com/ShadesOfGraySLC

Spitsofrantic Hood Vibrations

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I’m not sure what Salt Lake City “hood” Spitsofrantic is from, but it certainly sounds like a frightening place. Filled with “the mentally ill, unemployed with no job skills, halfway-house habitations and UTA stations,” perhaps he’s talking about ... downtown? Rose Park? Or (shudder) Sugar House? There’s no questioning this local emcee’s lyrical skills, but Hood Vibrations relies on one too many rap clichés (complaints about “pigs” and “hoods”) we’ve all heard before. Then again, word on the street is the 15th & 15th district is going downhill. Perhaps that’s what he’s upset about.
MySpace.com/Spitsofrantic

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Ryan Bradford

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