Yelawolf
Radioactive


1.5
very poor

Review

by Adrian Hertzberg CONTRIBUTOR (31 Reviews)
December 1st, 2011 | 64 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Potential for greatness absolutely obliterated by lazy production and terrible guest-spots.

I first heard Yelawolf on last year’s critically successful album from Big Boi, Sir Luscious Leftfoot: The Son of Chico Dusty. He appeared on a track called ‘You Aint No DJ’ and I was struck by his relatively unique delivery and clever lyricism. Furthermore, that song, and his spot in it, was hilarious and full of a light-hearted attitude which led me to believe that he didn’t take himself too seriously (which is very important for me in enjoying hip-hop). A little bit of research revealed that the featured artist was an up-and-coming star in the hip-hop world, and his big label debut was set to be released in 2011. Radioactive quickly became one of my most anticipated releases of the year.

To cut right to the chase (as if you hadn’t gathered this already from the rating at the top of the page): Radioactive is a massive disappointment. It’s not that Yelawolf’s skill has decreased or that his rapping is no longer clever or fun. In fact, Yelawolf’s raps on this album are great for the most part. His signature delivery is as quick and accented as one would expect, and much of the lyricism is clever and catchy, again, as was expected. No, the problem with this album is that just about everything else is absolutely abysmally executed. The beats are predictable and uninventive and the production makes the album sound watered-down and gives it that dreaded “over-produced” feeling. A lot of artists experience this problem with their major-label debuts, and so I was not entirely surprised by it, though it was disappointing to hear.

But what turns this album from an average, watered-down but still decent product, into the overblown mess that it is, is the absolutely awful guest-spots. Just glancing at the tracklist before playing the album should make the listener see red flags. Kid Rock? Lil’ Jon? Fefe Dobson? These are strange choices to be sure, and I’ve listed but a few. But we must not judge a book by its cover; there is of course the chance that these artists actually bring something positive to the album. However, upon giving the album a few proper listens, my worst fears about the selection of featured artists were realized. Kid Rock’s part is typical country-rap that offers nothing fresh or exciting. Fefe Dobson’s part sounds like a rejected Avril Lavigne b-side over a simple hip-hop 101 beat and the result is nothing short of cringe-worthy. And then there’s Lil’ Jon’s song, quite possibly the lowlight of this entire mess of an album. ‘Hard White (Up in the Club)’ sounds like a parody of Lil’ Jon and his clichéd catchphrases. While listening to the chorus, it seems as if they put no effort into making the song sound original or good at all. I mean, if your idea of a good rap song is hearing Lil’ Jon yelp “UP IN THE CLUB, DON’T GIVE A FUCK” four times in a row, then by all means, this is right up your alley. I don’t think I’m making a huge leap though when I suggest that most people will not be impressed by this. These are only a few examples of terribly executed guest spots ruining what would be an otherwise tolerable album; I could continue to list the various disasters sprinkled through this album, but that would be almost as tedious as giving this monstrosity a full listen (which takes nearly an hour for some reason).

It really is a shame because Yelawolf is a young artist bursting with potential. Like I previously mentioned, his rapping is mostly great, which is what one would expect. There are times when I find myself beginning to groove to certain verses on this album, like his first on ‘Throw It Up,’ but as soon as I’m getting into the zone and starting to enjoy what I’m hearing, a cheesy chorus or obnoxious guest-spot appears and ruins the mood. Yelawolf and his producers went so over-the-top in the making of this album that anything enjoyable is ultimately overshadowed by cliché production techniques and gimmicky interludes. For an example of this, see the incredibly tacky skit with Eminem at the end of ‘Throw It Up’ in which Eminem tells Yelawolf that the one thing missing from the album is “a song for girls, a love song, bitches like love songs.” What’s worse is that the next song is exactly that! It’s a “love song” that seems unsure whether it wants to take the genuine and sweet approach or the hard gangster angle. The result is, yet again, a gimmicky mess.

Very likely this album is simply a case of a young artist’s talent and vision being compromised by the wishes of his new bosses to make an album that can relate to the general public at every possible level, or something. If this is the case, I still see hope in Yelawolf’s future. He is no doubt a skilled rapper and his flow is pretty unique and has the possibility of appealing to a large number of hip-hop fans. Producing a great album is within his reach, but this isn’t it. Yelawolf needs to learn about some quality control and cut down on the eye-roll inducing gimmicks and poorly executed guest-spots, and maybe his next album will be worth a serious listen or two. For now though, Radioactive is one of the most overproduced and tacky hip-hop albums I’ve heard in a long time, and one of the biggest disappointments of the year.



Recent reviews by this author
Manchester Orchestra CopeRegina Spektor Songs
Run the Jewels Run the JewelsThe Dillinger Escape Plan One of Us Is the Killer
The National Trouble Will Find MeLaura Stevenson Wheel
user ratings (97)
Chart.
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
tylr66 (2)
Yelawolf seemed like he could stick around for the long haul based strictly off of his originality; ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Aids
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2011


23900 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

this is my first attempt to review something I hated, and I found it quite tricky to not just rant and rant. I honestly could go on about how god-awful this is, but I didn't want the review to be any longer than it is. Feedback greatly appreciated.

I hope I don't get negged to shit by fanboys. I wanted to like this, I really really did.

Digging: RATKING - So It Goes

BigHans
December 1st 2011


26454 Comments


good job, next time be meaner its more entertaining that way.

BigHans
December 1st 2011


26454 Comments


see my Brokencyde review I did under OFace

cvlts
December 1st 2011


8967 Comments


he didn't take himself too seriously (which is very important to me in enjoying hip-hop)

i think I get it but care to elaborate?

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2011


28630 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

i think the fefe dobson song works

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2011


23900 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

'good job, next time be meaner its more entertaining that way."

haha thanks hans, I'll let loose next time. you're OFace? wait, maybe I knew that...

"i think I get it but care to elaborate?"

well I'm a casual fan of hip-hop and I just tend to enjoy the more funny, idk playful(?) stuff over the "LOOK AT ME IM FUCKING HARDDDDD"

do you think i should elaborate in the review? I thought of taking that bracketed part out.



Aids
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2011


23900 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

"i think the fefe dobson song works"

ugh I can't stand her to begin with. one of my least favourite tracks on the album for sure.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2011


28630 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

hip hop 101 beats can be the best


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iQRXuAo6Eg

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2011


23900 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

they can be the best, yes. and Umbrella is probably the best example of that. I just think that it fails miserably on this occasion.

what would your serious rating be if you were "the sort of cat that gave out 3.5s?"

daIceman
December 1st 2011


402 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

agree with review, that LP is terrible, It was my most anticipated "mainstream" hip hop LP in 2011 so far, but it turned into pure disaster.

Agree with reviewer that Yelawolf has kind of catchy flow and he is skilled rapper in general, but that LP did not prove that

DropdeadWHA
December 1st 2011


652 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think the album gets sloppy after track 9 and I cannot stand 'Radio', sounds horrible.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
December 1st 2011


28630 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

haha idk about a rating but i'll tell you what happened

i listened to it but was out of the room when the kid rock song played

i didnt think it was bad so i 5'd it, i then added that kid rock song to my big shuffle list. apparently i have listened to it 4 times but i still have no idea what it sounds like

idk it was a boring album but not a bad one. i see myself listening to it 0-1 more times.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2011


23900 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

on my first listen I actually thought the Kid Rock song was one of the best. i only mentioned it in the review cause, well, it's Kid Rock.

Counterfeit
December 1st 2011


17819 Comments


i blame shady records, fuck eminem

i wouldnt necessarily call him a young artist either, considering he's 31.

also,

Furhtermore,


intro para

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
December 1st 2011


23900 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

word, thanks. also, I just noticed how incredible your avatar is.

and I guess I meant "young" in the sense of his musical career is young.

calgarydude12
December 1st 2011


155 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I loved his Trunk musik tape, so I was excited when this came out. But agreed with Aids, this album is just wayyy to produced. Damn.

snerefedsav
December 1st 2011


837 Comments


oh fuck, now i'm scared to listen to this. i like yelawolf a lot and i actually enjoyed hard white when it came out cuz it's a fun song. just listened to radio and...ugh. i'll give it a listen some time soon

gotsthedewsdood
December 1st 2011


624 Comments


throw it up without the chorus would be alright.

Jash
December 2nd 2011


4244 Comments


Awesome review as usual sir, I hated "Pop the Trunk" so I won't bother getting this after reading, but his freestyles slay, as well as his spot on that Big Boi album

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
December 2nd 2011


23900 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

word thanks guys. it looks like it's unanimous: Yelawolf is pretty good but this album is a pile of shit.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy