Review Summary: Today’s class is wobble-ology and I’m your professor.
As a disclaimer to the users whom I predict will appear and make their first comment on this thread, I am a fan of Family Force 5’s debut album. A number of people may assert that this band is incredibly fun to listen to and is great mindless music. To an extent, I agree with both statements. Business Up Front, Party In The Back
is a genuinely worthwhile release within the garbage-inundated dance-rap/crunk/electronic scene. Which is why III
is so astoundingly disappointing; these guys used to be actually decent.
All intensity that drove FF5’s debut is completely absent. While Dance or Die
certainly suggested that FF5’s heaviest days had passed, III
is nearly entirely devoid of any energy whatsoever. III is empty and stripped down revealing… well, nothing. Everything that once made Family Force 5 fun is gone and we are left with only the weaknesses: cheesiness, awkward voice effects, and misguided experimentation. At this point FF5’s flaws are no longer excusable; they are quite simply poor now.
Although FF5’s lyrics have always been juvenile, III sees the band steeping to new lows. The album’s almost unlistenable low spots such as “Tank Top,” which boasts lines such as “I sent the boom-shaka-laka shaka-laka to your house / don't let it smack ya in yo swagga-lackin' mouth”
and “Scenie babies / throwback 'cedes / bleach-blonde hair and your neon shadies / skinny jeans / know what I mean / roll the red carpet out the limousine.”
“Dang Girl” is primarily a repetition of varying pronunciations of “dang girl, you bang, girl”
and features an obnoxiously atrocious beat and messy distortion. Even an ill-fated Steve Jobs reference makes an appearance. And although it might seem unfair to criticize the lyrics of FF5, III
is so blatantly lazy and childish that it is simply no longer passable.
Even the few “highlights” are glaringly mediocre. “Love Gone Wrong” is probably the only track with any life at all and might be the sole notable takeaway from the release. “Not Alone” is a simple pop song that doesn’t fit with the rest of the album at all but manages to be successful, at least in relation the majority of the tracks. Other relative highs such as the very Mraz-influenced, reggae-flared “You Got It” and the Spanish-influenced “Mamacita” are mostly failures hampered by nearly amusingly bad production decisions, but at least they are trying. While none of these are individually worthwhile, they may save the album from being a complete fiasco. Maybe.
But perhaps the greatest tragedy to be found here is this: with III
, Family Force 5 may have crafted both one of the best works of their lackluster genre as well as one of the worst. The collapse of Family Force 5 is disheartening and frustrating; these guys were never that
much to get excited about, but they were better than this