Kaleo Futuristo - The Future Is Now
Here's an interesting up-and-comer out of Cali, Kaleo Futuristo. I say "interesting" because it seems he's being hyped up all over the place, from the mainstay internet bios and props to being featured on various television programs and even a movie or two. The Future Is Now is his debut (as far as I can tell) and, while not re-inventing the wheel or anything as his official bio might lead you to believe, the songs within are all competent, catchy and fun, if suffering from some serious issues in the lyrical department.
Futuristo's music is heavily dependant on looped beats, mild guitar flourishes and a strong dance music influence. Definite "dance floor" music, which has never been my style but I won't let that interfere here. "Love Slave" has a nice Latin flavor and Kaleo does his best to vocalize his passions over a pedestrian beat. "I Thought" is very similar in it's style, but the lyrics just get silly...a simplistic plea against the whole "superstar" life of big money, expensive clothes, cars, etc. "I thought I had to have it all-the fancy car and all the clothes-and now I realize I was wrong-cuz all that I need is inside of me". Yeah. Somewhat impressive is his attempt at spicing a hip-hop track up with some Run-DMC-esque rock feel on "Rock Hard". It feels amateurish, but the attempt is actually appreciated as a change-of-pace. Some tracks delve more into a darker, Eminem-ish territory ("Move Sumpin'", "Hip-Hop Child") and these tend to be the better tracks, personally speaking. A couple of remixes to songs probably not released prior except for on compilations or soundtracks ("Save the World" which might be the best track here, and "Young Ones") round out the last half of the album. Of particular note, Kaleo's rendition of Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight", which stays faithful to the original while actually adding a new, satisfying dimension to the lyrical content. This might signify a direction in which Kaleo may consider taking up more often in the future.
All in all, nowhere near a BAD record, but one that rubs me the wrong way for it's base level of creativity and emotional impact. Too many "That girl is so fly and here's why" tracks for my taste, and I think for most other people's as well. While my sphere of musical influences might leave me a tad bit lost for words here, I can see this album flying over well with fans of dance-ready hip/hop, pop-oriented rap stylings and those who don't put too much weight on lyrical integrity. Kaleo Futuristo would have to take a big left turn to begin to truly impress the likes of me, however.
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