Review Summary: For a debut album created by musician whose name is a synonym for 'poo', I expected it to be much more smellier.
Don't let the summary fool you into thinking this is a surprisingly good album or a pleasant listen, this still stinks. But if you take away negativity, you'll be able to find some positives on this album, little carrot gems that stick out of the poo. These little carrot gems provide evidence of Deuce's attempt to recreate his old bands debut, when the band now has strayed so far away from it.
For those who don't know the background of Deuce, he was the front man of LA based Rap Rock group 'Hollywood Undead'. They were known for their attempts at aggressive rock fueled by gangsta rap verses, which made Emo kids all around the world think that they were thugs. Their debut album 'Swan Songs' launched them into the mainstream quite easily, selling 800,000 copies worldwide, and at this time of success, no one expected a line up change to happen anytime soon. But in 2010, it was revealed that Deuce was no longer part of the band due to musical differences and drama that resemble those of a midday soap opera. Hollywood Undead still make music, but with a more serious approach, leaving their party anthems behind them. This is where Deuce's debut solo effort 'NINELIVES' comes in.
'NINELIVES' is practically Deuce's re interpretation of 'Swan Songs'. It features a very similar approach to combining genres, as well as keeping the aggressive crude, lyrics. These components could of made for a fun party album, but it's hard to find fun, when it's surrounded by awfulness. 'NINELIVES' hints the fun of 'Swan Songs' plenty of times, but it's easily outdone by corny beats, abysmal lyrics and annoying guest appearances. When it comes to cracking a Deuce, this is a real party pooper.
Before I overwhelm you with the cons on this album, let me start with the positives. Deuce obviously knows how to create a catchy chorus, with tracks like 'America' and 'We Came To Party'. Both of these tracks will have you bopping and/or singing along. Plus despite the majority of annoying guest appearances on here, Travie Mcoy gives you a break from Deuce's annoying voice on 'We Came To Party' and Ronnie Radke provides a surprisingly decent rap verse on 'Nobody Likes Me'. Now that I've covered the good parts of this album, let me review the last majority of it.
See, even though Deuce can create a moderately catchy chorus, he can't really do much else. Deuce's attempts at lyricism and rapping on this album borderline on horrible, providing us with cringe worthy phrases like 'I am the white Obama bitch'. Deuce's attempts also provide him to ridicule, claiming he killed someone on 'Gravestones' and claiming he's from the 'hood' on 'Now You See My Life'. Every lyric and phrase on this album makes Deuce seem like the biggest douche bag on the planet, which does not make this an easy listen.
Deuce also represents his lack of creativity via production on this album. Every beat Deuce has created for this album sounds like he just discovered Piano Roll in FL Studio. While some of these beats sound catchy, they are too generic to stay fresh. The small amount of guitars on this album aren't anything special either, and barely ever shine. Drums and Bass come under the same category.
So to top off this horrid adventure, let's talk about the guest appearances. Excluding Travie Mcoy and Ronnie Radke, the guest appearances only add to the annoying tone of the album. A revived Skee-Lo provides a mediocre rap verse on 'Now You See My Life', Veze Skante and Gadget provide slurred rap vocals on 'Till I Drop', Truth drops some pointless interludes on several tracks and last, and definitely least, Jeffree Star provides only what can be described as 'Tranny Horrorcore' on 'Let's Get It Crackin' and 'Freaky Now'. While some may find the guest appearances refreshing from Deuce's impetuous lyrics, most will find them just as horrid.
So in the end, this album is poo that stinks, but not a stink that will make you throw up. If you digested 'Swan Songs', you may pick the carrot gems from this pile of feces, and digest it again. But for most, Deuce's ignominious approach to music is one you'll want to flush.