Thursday, December 6, 2012

[Album Review] rMell - NEOGEO

Although it has been more than a week since the release of rMell's NEOGEO the support for it hasn't stopped. The young artist even trended on Twitter in the Washington area for more than a day and the feedback has been amazing. One of the main reasons I held off on reviewing it or even posting it was because I felt I needed more than just a day or two to critique an album that has been in the works for two years. I didn't want to give a stereotypical "Yo this album is dope be sure to download" type of review. So after listening to it multiple times and contemplating what to say about it, I finally feel confident in my ability to deliver the best review possible for NEOGEO.

The intro is one of the most important parts to a project it can start the project on a good or bad note. Luckily, NEOGEO does the former, due in part to rMell's production choice on "OVERTURE" which sets the mood for the rest of the album. You immediately can tell that the album won't feature typical Rap/Hip-Hop production, instead rMell opts for something in between Hip-Hop, Alternative and Synth Pop. Think part rMell, part Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. It is actually amazing that such drastically different genres could combine to sound like one cohesive product. 

The next track "UNTITLED" features fellow Grammy Family member Matt McGhee, who delivers a dope guest verse and continues his streak (of not disappointing me) and rMell flows just as well. The only thing about the song that I didn't like was the "We don't need a hook, but here is a hook anyway" hook, it was as the song says not needed but included anyhow, other then that it was an excellent follow up to the intro. "HER GHOST" is essentially rMell rap-singing his verses and feels like the NEOGEO version of Kanye's "Flashing Lights" but more upbeat. "CLAP FOR EM" is the next track and features another Gram Fam member in Miles Meraki, who as of late has been on a absolute tear and delivers what might be the best verse heard from him yet. The production featured on the track helps to further push rMell from a genre defining sound. "DRIVE" is rMell at his best simply put. The track truly encompasses rMell's total skills as an artist from the cinematic intro, to the production and down to the excellent verses. A definite highlight of the tape. 

"SETTLE DOWN" isn't highly memorable but it shouldn't be over looked either, another tight joint from rMell. "RAYBANS" another highlight of NEOGEO, this along with "DRIVE" as stated earlier show off  what rMell is truly capable of. I might even say this track alone makes NEOGEO as must download, simply because of how superior the album version is to the single. Props to Poncho Royyel from CHESS too, who helps enhance the vibe of the track with his vocals. "INVITATION" which serves as a interlude for the album has a screwed voiced rMell spitting some bars for it's short duration. Even though it was short it was one of my favorite joints from the album. "BODIES" another personal favorite of mine, serves as a nice follow up to the previous track and expands on it. "GF AIRLINES" could be said to be a interlude/intro to "KANGAROO ISLAND" featuring the biscuit Kendall Elijah and one of the more anticipated tracks of rMell's career, I still remember the tweets from him speaking on how many times he mixed this track. While not a personal favorite of mine, I can't ignore the fact that rMell and Kendall made a great track. Next up is "NO RESET" which is an ode/vow to the late, great Avion and is easily the most heartfelt track on the album. It's ironic how rMell placed it after "KANGAROO ISLAND" which is one of the more upbeat tracks featured on NEOGEO, I'm sure it's placement was intentional and honestly gives it even more of an impact on the listener. "SOME PEOPLE WANT" the last track on the album is great and helps NEOGEO end on a high note. rMell repeats "If you like it, say you love it. Just don't lie to my face" as the song slowly fades out and leaves you with a impression that you just got done listening to something more than an album.

Overall, NEOGEO is an excellent album from one of the most promising artist I know. Two years of hard work has been put into this album and you can definitely tell by listening. Even the mixing quality of NEOGEO is some on the best I've heard from an indie release. From a lyrical standpoint rMell delivers, witty puchlines and verses all the way through and truly expands his subject matter from past projects. Also, NEOGEO is definitely his best work production wise and all together serves as his magnum opus which I believe was the intention. rMell's ability to craft a new sound in a day and age of clones is what truly makes NEOGEO stand alone on its own and shine. rMell wisely used those two years to perfect his craft and create something that will serve as an example of what he is able to do as an artist for years to come. However, I do expect see him eventually topping it and creating something better but for now NEOGEO is more than enough. All I have left to say is congratulations...oh and that it's about damn time!

BONUS: The Evolution of rMell & B2P's NEOGEO Review 

Stream or download below.