Saturday, October 27, 2012

EP Review: Hoodie Allen - "All American"

I'm not sure what the weather is like where ever you are, but here in Guelph it's been bleak, cold, windy and rainy for the past week or so. Considering it's also midterm season, I've been stuck living in the UoGuelph engineering building with all the other engineering students. As a result, I've been looking for some music to pick me up after a long day of not understanding my electrical devices class. Queue my friend Luke who posted a Hoodie Allen song on Facebook a week ago or so.  I had never heard of Hoodie Allen before and for some reason I was expecting Hoodie Allen to be either fucking brutal deathcore (a la Acacia Strain) or really abrasive electronic music (like Stephen Walking). Then, I click on the link and listen to this:

Feel good jams ensue.

Hoodie Allen (Steven Markowitz) is an American (I totally couldn't tell by the album cover!) hip-hop/ pop artist who only recently came onto the music scene. He self-released his debut Bagels and Beats in 2009, and just dropped All American, an EP this spring. Hoodie seems to be apart of the new "nerdy white people trying to rap" trend (Kreayshawn, MC Frontalot, etc.), but luckily for him, he actually pulls it off.

All American is a great blend of hip-hop and pop music. Hoodie's songs feel like happy, upbeat rap songs during their verses, but turn into big, over-the-top pop tunes with lots of catchy hooks and simple lyrics that get stuck in your head for the choruses. A couple songs deviate towards other genres, with the song "Small Town" hitting disco/ dance club levels of fun, and "No Interruption" sounding like a modern R&B tune. Whichever way Hoodie presents his music, I guarantee it'll always get you dancing.

The instrumentation on All American is simple, but effective. Synth, keyboards, pianos, funky guitars and bass and drums are pretty much all that are used here and it's really for the best. Most of the songs have a really simple, catchy backing track, and as the song moves onward, new lines and melodies crop up from the other instruments. Production is nice and shiny, with everything sounding spit-shined and sparkly. Normally I'm a fan of warmer production sounds and tones, but for music this upbeat the vibrant production really drives home the feel-good sound.

The only things that disappoint me on All American are the last two songs. Hoodie changes gears instantly from "lets go adventure and have a summer road trip!" down to "let's just sit around and get really high". The music is still good, it just doesn't fit with the rest of the EP at all, in my opinion. It's not a big gripe, but I find myself just playing the first 6 songs over and over, constantly ignoring the last two. At least the songs I don't like are both at the end of the album so it's not like they break up the stretch of songs I do like.

Bomb-Ass Tracks: No Interruption, Eighteen Cool, Small Town

On a Playlist With: Whatever's on your summertime playlist.

Overall Score


Hoodie Allen brings some tasty feel-good jams with All American. Other than the last couple songs on the EP, you can tell me it'll be soundtrack for the next American Pie movie and I'd totally believe you. If you're feeling down, just give Hoodie a chance, and I'm certain it'll turn your frown upside down.

That's all for now, folks!


No comments:

Post a Comment