ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Think back to Jun. 2002, right around the time when Eminem
dropped the first single, "Without Me," off of his new LP.
In the first three seconds, you may remember hearing an unfamiliar
voice promising, "Obie Trice: real name, no gimmicks."
After more than a year of touring and doing guest-spots on
the albums of the Shady Records/Aftermath camp, Obie finally
has a chance to shine solo. Does he live-up to the hype? Indubitably.
Aside from the comical lunacy of his catchy radio tune "Got
Some Teeth," the rest of Cheers paints an interesting portrait
of the 24-year-old Detroit rapper's life up to this point.
Half the songs on the album are potential singles and with
guest spots from the likes of Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes
and the Shady one himself, this shouldn't take anyone by surprise.
Don't, however, attribute the album's success solely to Obie's
famous friends: Trice can rhyme with the best of them.
Under and Over
Maple Music Recordings
Under and Over is exactly that - sometimes a little under
and sometimes a little over what you would expect from the
debut album of former Waltons frontman, Jason Plumb. The album
begins sincere and strong, by way of a satisfying melody and
heavy instrumentals. It has a particular Canadian sound that
can only be attributed to the notable Canadian artists' support
on the album: it is produced and co-written by Ed Robertson
of the Barenaked Ladies, features duets with Sarah Harmer and
Damhnait Doyle and has song writing credited to members of
Spirit of the West.
Lyrically, the album demonstrates Plumb's finest talents,
asserting his status as one of Canada's best songwriters. Robertson's
influence is heard mostly in "Loved Inconsistently," an upbeat
song celebrating the fun of love. Though the songs "Back at
Me" and "Wide Open" shake the sound up a bit, much of the record
borders on generic easy listening. By the eighth track, "Had
Enough," I'd almost had enough myself.