Review Summary: Where Weezy failed miserably Lupe Fiasco sees success.7 of 7 thought this review was well written
Japanese Cartoon is a side project of hip hop artist Lupe Fiasco, known through the project by his real name Wasalu Muhammad Jaco. If taken from the angle that it is an alternative effort from an artist from an entirely different genre this album can be viewed in either of two aspects: terrible or fantastic. While he is a respected player in the hip hop game there is no reason to rule him out in any other musical realm because after listening to this album, he does prove his worth once again. Releasing the album for free over the internet, there wasn’t much publicity backing this release but that doesn’t hinder the eclectic mix of punk and electronic that Lupe mixes together for his side project’s debut album.
The music is generally upbeat, drawing influences mostly from punk and inserting their various beats from electronica/hip hop influence. The songs are guitar heavy and rely equally on beats and drum tracks. The track list is so all over the place with songs that the album itself doesn’t ever get boring because things are constantly changing up. Songs will change from punk to rock to electronica back to punk in a matter of the same songs sometime. The album opener “JAWS” is quite possibly one of the openers found in 2010. It gives you a full dose of the unique vocals right off the bat and then throws you into a vocal delivery that could best even his own hip hop delivery. “Crowd Participation” is one of the albums strongest songs from the shear fact that it would be the best song on the album to see live. You do get that arena rock feel from it but you know that everyone in that venue would have their fist pumping along with you after the first twenty seconds of the song. Fear not hip hop fans there is a tinge of rapping on this record but you really have to be on the lookout for it. You can find some on number seven “You Are Here”, which oddly enough is also one of the albums heaviest tracks as well.
One element of the album the listener has to get used to is Lupe’s fake English accent. It’s more prominent in some songs than others but if you pay enough attention it’s there. If you don’t hear it then don’t worry about it. Clocking in at just 31 minutes it feels almost the perfect length for this type of release. With no publicity or media behind it at all, it was more of a surprise to anyone that isn’t a diehard Fiasco follower but with the songs crafted and its short length you won’t have any worries with getting bored. An album like this just goes to show that an artist can travel outside their primary genre and be successful such as a rapper making a rock album, better luck next time Weezy.
The album is available for free download by registering at the bands website at http://allsabotage.com/.