(Hed)Planet Earth return in 2006 with Back 2 Base X, that is 6-6-06, for their 5th studio album release. After getting the boot from their first label, Jive, and then signing on to Koch to deliver the rebellious, splenetic, f*ck the music industry album known as Only in Amerika, they now make their new label debut on the Kottonmouth Kings' very own label, Suburban Noize. That's right noize
Many can argue that (Hed)P.E. were in a downward spiral after releasing Only in Amerika in 2005 while others can say that (Hed)P.E. were back on their feet from the failed, rocker album Blackout. But the fact is that (Hed)P.E. were
hurting badly from Only in Amerika. It had poor sales and a somewhat unsuccessful tour. The album had a lack of any respectable lyrics and seemed like it had no direction other than to piss off your parents and get on your nerves sometimes. But can this album, Back 2 Base X refurbish (Hed)P.E.'s career? The answer is yes it can, if you give it a chance that is.
Back 2 Base X has a more reggae feel than any other (Hed)P.E. release which makes it more unique. It has well composed songs and a more focused approach than it's predecessor.
Back 2 Base X begins with a nice vibe filled with a reggae guitar and a nice calm drum beat and then really begins when vocalist Jahred drops in with his nicely written rhymes and raps. It keeps you relaxed and entertained the whole way and is an excellent opener for an album. Without a doubt a fine song on Back 2 Base X.
2. Novus Ordos Clitorus
After an amazing opener, (Hed)P.E. summon the inner metalhead and deliver the heavy, conspiracy inspired N.O.C. Throughout the song, a heavy feel is given off into your ears.
It gives off great energy and really pumps you up. It has good lyrics and great riffs and booming drum beats. A really good hard rock song that will please many of the fans that love the heavy side of (Hed)P.E.
3. Lock and Load
So now we have heard the calm side of (Hed)P.E. and the heavy side so what's next? How about an average song that is filled with some decent guitar riffs from Jaxon and simplistic drum beats from Moke. Jahred's singing could be a little better in the chorus, but it still can't help the song because it is just too raw.
4. White Collars
What do we have here? It seems like a hint at classic (Hed)P.E. with some nice raps and riffs. But after a nicely done verse, the chorus seems somewhat out of place, but it manages to do okay. Also Jaxon pulls off a small guitar solo towards the middle of the song. Not a stand out track on Back 2 Base X, but a fairly well done one, yes.
5. Get Ready
Get Ready is Back 2 Base X's lead single and a good one at that, but not great. The song is in fact a cover of Eva Cassidy's "People Get Ready". It is redone in a more metal way and the video shows singer Jahred wearing the Confederate flag around his waist. The song has a lot of energy and will win new fans for (Hed)P.E. especially those that are fans of Suburban Noize artists.
Sophia? So can we believe that this a love song or just a name of some girl that Jahred had or has sex with? Both theories are probably correct. Sophia has a nice clean reggae feel throughout and it uses the instrument known as the melodica and it's used quite well in the song I must say. A nice song with nice lyrics and a good tone.
7. Peer Pressure
Here is a straight up punk song for all of you punk rockers out there. (Hed)P.E. delivers a fast, half-assed composition with very simple lyrics about, thats right you guessed it, peer pressure. This song is what I consider the worst song off Back 2 Base X.
8. Beware Do We Go
Well guys were do you go from now? After deliver some reggae influenced songs with some melodica in it, some heavy metal songs and a punk rock song I am ready for anything. So it begins. (Hed)P.E. deliver the pop punk song, Beware Do We Go. It has a nice clean tone throughout the song and it classifies it self as a good song off Back 2 Base X.
9. Daze of War
Next (Hed)P.E. gets gangsta if you know what I mean in Daze of War, a rap rock hybrid song with intelligent lyrics, probably the best off the album, some nice raps and great guitars riffs and not to mention some killer drum beats. A great composition showing that lyricist Jahred has what it takes to make a good rhyme.
Sweetchops is in competition with Peer Pressure in taking the title for the worst track on Back 2 Base X. It has terrible lyrics, which is just too bad because Daze of War was written quite well. The only thing that maybe might make it a little better than Peer Pressure is that it is a longer and has a guitar solo which just adds a tiny spec of fun to the song.
11. So It Be
"So it Be and so it is!" this song has great, fun lyrics, great guitars licks some nice drumming and pay close attention to Mawks bass lines. They are awesome. He too, shows that he can write some nice bass lines for all the people that might doubt him. A great song that keeps a very nice flow throughout.
12. Let's Ride
In this song we hear more of that curious instrument the melodica. It makes the song a little more unique and enjoyable and the chorus is great. The verse features the melodica and some nice guitar delivery from Jaxon. The lyrics and vocals are a bit stupid but if you ignore some of the lines that Jahred sings, it is otherwise a good song. It ends with some more fill ins with the melodica on your right speaker and Jaxon doing some guitar licks on your left speaker.
13. The Chosen One
Last song on the list and again it features the melodica. But, hey, you can't deny that it adds a lot to the song and it makes it have a good ambiance to it. What we have here on this 13th track is a reggae song with lyrics that encourages listeners to fight for your rights before they are taken away. A fair song to end an album, could have been better.
So in the end Back 2 Base X is a actually a good album, just give it time to grow. It might not have the hardness and metallic vibe that Only in Amerika had but Back 2 Base X is it's own unique album, with a handful of brilliant songs. If you felt discouraged after listening to Only in Amerika don't worry, Back 2 Base X will find your (Hed)P.E. loyalty again.