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You Can't Stop the Bum Rush
Sony / Work
our score: 4.0 out of 5.0
in the Stolen Sun |
michael r. smith
a year where cleverness overshadowed true creativity, the Canadian
outfit simply called Len, has to be the guiltiest culprits of
all. Though I won't hold it against them, because their heavily
sampled debut album You Can't Stop the Bumrush is one of
the most effervescent releases I have laid my ears on in a long
time. As a matter of fact, Len will be on my year-end best list
for their song "Steal My Sunshine" as well as the album as a whole.
seems amazing to me that a song can reach the Billboard Top 10
chart without ever being released as a single. But that's exactly
what "Steal My Sunshine" did (in addition to another favorite
of mine "Mambo #5" by Lou Bega). Could the new millennium see
the death of the single format altogether? It could happen, though
I would like to see the lingering cassette go out along with it.
Albums are finally being recognized in lieu of individual tracks,
which must certainly be music to the artists' ears. I guess Casey
Kasem and other top 40 d.j.'s also have their days numbered and
start looking for alternative careers.
revolutionary atmosphere of the 90's music industry is one that
I myself can admit to being a little hesitant in embracing. The
60's decade was radical too, but at least it stood for something.
It causes me to wonder if all the current anarchy and rebellion
by much of the MTV generation (as evidenced by the last Woodstock
fiasco) is to gain nothing more than attention. Attention it may
garner, but it might not be the kind of attention they are seeking.
Like Madonna has come to realize, "Now that I have everyone's
attention, what do I have to say?"
I can, I try to find artists truly worth reviewing. Ones that
either have a message to send through their artistic statement
or who at least try to be something for everyone to appreciate.
Len is one act that sees the forest for the trees and it shows
in their energetic and diverse approach. With lines like "everybody's
stoned, nobody gives a shit...these guys are making so much bread
it doesn't matter what they do", I was convinced that Len knows
exactly what is going on today in the music biz. They even manage
to rise above the chaotic fray and thank their audience in "Cold
Chillin" for keeping it peaceful. Flower children who rap indeed...
praise Len also for their quirky and fun amalgamation of rock,
old school rap and soul, classical and gospel even! This is one
hell of a party album. I would give it a good review just for
Shar's delivery and animated album cover alone. The kids may have
to shield their parents from the one of the few ballads on Bum
Rush, "Big Meanie" with its casual use of profanity. But it's
a guilty pleasure that even a prude like myself found stuck in
my head long afterward. If you're looking for hooks, this one
has more than a fisherman's tackle box. (Can you tell I'm a Cape
Codder by now?)
the Beastie Boys still might not have nothing to fear, Len is
one white-rap outfit that certainly shows great potential in giving
them a healthy run for the money...oh sorry...bread...at least.
Note to self...must get street lingo down so that someday I can
be down with the homies too.
liked You Can't Stop the Bum Rush...
Steal My Sunshine
2. Cryptik Souls Crew
3. Man Of The Year
4. Beautiful Day
5. The Hard Disk Approach
6. Hot Rod Monster Jam
7. Cold Chillin'
8. Feelin' Alright
10. Big Meanie
12. Crazy 'Cause I Believe (Eearly Morning Sunshine)