Review Summary: Nothing's original, I stole this flow from Soulja Boy.
You may know Scroobius Pip as the guy who looks like a vulgar Matisyahu
with a British accent. His collabos with dan le sac (especially the free rap-cum-sermon "Thou Shalt Always Kill") consist of Pip's clever and pleasantly cockney and occasionally free-verse rapping over le sac's junkyard electronica beats.
Unfortunately, the failures present with Pip's solo work cannot be blamed solely on the lack of dan le sac's addictive garage-tronica. Pip's own beats, while much more generic, show obvious allusion to their creator's days as a punk band bassist, making significantly heavier use of low-end and strong basslines. with old punk crunch. They're not le sac's genial tinkering, but neither are they memorable. "Try Dying" is actually more punk n' roll rant than rap, while single "Let Em Come" features a chorus with obvious adolescent attitude -- If the bad times are comin' let 'em come.
le sac's absence does have a less direct effect on Pip. Without the funky video-game-music-meets-makeshift-percussion fun of le sac, Pip starts to take himself far too seriously. "The Beat That My Heart Skipped" and "Thou Shalt Always Kill" from Pip and le sac's collabo album are fast-paced yet lighthearted editorials on breakups and pop culture. On solo tracks "Try Dying" and "Death of the Journalist" Pip tackles issues like the fear of death and attacks corruption in the journalism industry, all with a serrated-edged tongue. It's apparent Pip's aim was to be straightforward, but too often his witty lyrics are too often cleaved in twain by transparent clichés -- If you want to live forever you will die trying. Don't believe the hype machine. Even the deliciously eerie "Introdiction" throws some clunkers -- Nothing's original, I stole this flow from the creator.
Past somewhat generic beats and transparent lyrics, the most redeeming part of Scroobius Pip is his undying ability to concoct a smartass commentary. "Soldier Boy Kill Em" is an imaginative restructuring of the colossal pop shi
twave the title references, complete with Russian "Hoy!"s in place of the drunken "Hooooooo…"s. On the other hand, "Feel It" barely features Pip at all, instead using R&B female vocals over Pip's intermittent mumblings, creating a snarky mock-up of every popular hip-hop/pop-diva collaboration since 2004. Not all the lyrics are thoughtless, as personal favorite "You see a mousetrap I see free cheese and a fu
cking challenge" proves. Even the lyrical transparency shines on the soft "Broken Promise", a sighing, bleeding-heart confession.
In essence, Scroobius Pip without dan le sac isn't Garfunkel without Simon (unless they had a falling-out and Garfunkel was being angsty about it). He can stand slightly wobbly on his own throbbing bass.