Review Summary: Technically, I jizzed. Literally, I sighed.
Tsk, tsk, tsk. I just shake my head at mainstream rap. Such good beats are unjustifiably handed out to incompetent rappers who implement themselves as parasites upon them. But an inverted, carnal converse is applicable to indie rappers as well, who just ride themselves. Viro the Virus is a prime example of a lyrical specialist that exalts himself and bathes in the magnitude of his own self-proprietated ego. And although he can lyrically justify his arrogance the majority of the time, his delivering ability isn’t one of his strong suits.
As with most underground rappers, the might of Viro lies within the power of his pad and pen. His lyrical abilities far surpass anything he does (“My victories are pilin’ up like it’s tetris,
”) because he’s not very good in terms of actual rapping abilities. His flow is kind of awkward at times, and is totally contradicting to his cocky voice and delivery, (think, Charles Hamilton.)
His beats may be the worst part, however. As with most underground, lyrical rap albums, the instrumentals are SUPPOSED to be low key and serve as a nice setting to which the lyrics can perform the play. But, on The Sharpest Blade
the beats are distracting, predictable, and painfully basic. “Rhymes, Cuts, Bass, Drums” is monotonous and annoying with its warbling, ascending synth loop and periodic horn blasts. As is “Push it Back” with its hollow tribal drums, and random “oh!’s” that lead into strobe light-fast maracas during the chorus. And “Going Back to Jersey” is just a poor, low key, jazz version of A Milli, with its wood-tap percussion, gentle horn cooing and ghastly background moaning.
The worst part is, Viro isn’t even that great lyrically. Other than the occasional great line, he makes just-good punchlines, and at times, totally bland ones. He invests all of his chips into one thing, but that thing happens to be qualitatively intermediate, and he can’t spruce this album up with any of the surrounding elements. He can only propel this album to a certain height before gravity kicks in and sends it crashing to the ground.
While this is definitely something for people who enjoy music they find to be of good quality after analyzing its technicalities, it’s not that enjoyable to just LISTEN to. In principle, it’s very good, even great, but it fails to garner any sort of response from me, emotional or otherwise. Riding one roller coaster, no matter how good it is, can get old after awhile, and the Virus can’t really retain my attention for 1.1 hours.