Tonedeff
Archetype


3.5
great

Review

by drewcordova USER (5 Reviews)
May 2nd, 2012 | 13 replies | 2,552 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Archetype has the ability to blow you away even though it lacks cohesion.

I discovered Tonedeff a few years back while I was on a determined binge to find obscure hip-hop. My disenchantment with the genre post 2000 grew to great heights because most radio rap was unbelievably bad. It was during this time that I picked up a copy of Archetype. Upon the first listen, I was totally blown away. The beats are lush and the lyrics are decent. Tonedeff's flow is extremely polished, and almost to a fault. There are very few rappers in history that can compete with his utterly stunning delivery, but sometimes it sounds just a little bit to contrived. He's admitted so in a song earlier in his career called “Champions.” No matter how you look at it, his flow will challenge you and command your attention.

Songs like Case Closed and Heavyweight showcase Tonedeff's gift for rapid-fire, warp speed raps. He said in an interview that he learned to rap so quickly while growing up in Miami. The music of that time had a high BPM's, and he learned to keep up with the beat of the songs while freestyling.

Masochist and Loyal are songs that focus much more heavily on the depth of lyrics. He still spits very quickly and fluidly, but the results are intended to be thought provoking. Masochist is a foray into the human psyche, one that realizes our tendency to do things our own way despite consequences that aren't desirable. It's easy to relate to because not one of us is insulated from the decisions that we make, and our subsequent reservations about them later.

Then there's Porcelain. It comes in with harmonized singing, a deep bass line, and lush piano accompaniment. Tonedeff sings, raps, and broods his way through a tale that most young men can remember experiencing. It is emotional, and nostalgic. The listener finds themselves at rapt attention because of the astounding sincerity portrayed through the music. Perhaps the best part of this track is the fact that the lyrics actually make sense from beginning to end. He doesn't just throw lines in to rhyme, but wrote the lyrics in an intellectually cohesive way. The good points of this album are so high, that it makes the low points eminently conspicuous.

Tonedeff's lyrics border on juvenile from time to time as evidenced on Pervert and Issawn. And the cameos on the album, albeit few, don't fit. Quotables is a song that could have easily ended up on a mixtape, and the inclusion of it in Archetype doesn't make sense. The major flaw of this album doesn't lie in the lyricism, or cameos. It comes from the lack of cohesion. One can't help but feel like every track on this album was intended to showcase each of Tonedeff's talents. After you pick your jaw up off of the floor, and listen to this album a few times, you start to see that his sheer talent is on display more than cohesiveness of vision.

With Archetype, we find that Tonedeff certainly has the archetypal flow for a rapper. No line seems rushed which is particularly astounding due to just how fast he goes. Of course, with an album title like Archetype, there is bombast abound. His confidence in his flow is a hindrance from time to time because the flow often takes a front seat. This leaves other parts of the album feeling neglected, but his passion is so palpable that it carries him through. Tonedeff is an emotional, brilliant, and talented rapper. Hopefully his next release will see him focus on creating a cohesive, mature album. Either way, Archetype is a worthwhile listen.


user ratings (47)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
drewcordova
May 2nd 2012



705 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Its the flow.... All about the flow.

Edit: Review has been re-worked due to what I believe to be mostly honest and constructive criticism. Hopefully this conveys my point more clearly than the last.

FadedSun
May 2nd 2012



1245 Comments


Weird. I was just listening to this the other day.

drewcordova
May 2nd 2012



705 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Doesn't get enough love.

Idnuf
May 2nd 2012



1491 Comments


Well this review makes you sound like a complete douche and doesn't do the album justice so good job.

also

Tonedeff's flow is polished to a fault


p sure this isn't what you wanted to say

Used to try to rap along with Case Closed all the time

drewcordova
May 2nd 2012



705 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It is what I meant to say. Listen to Champions by Tonedeff and you'll understand. The esoteric reference was intentional.

Idnuf
May 2nd 2012



1491 Comments


Nope I still don't understand. You're saying that the speed detracts from the enjoyment? Okay, but that's not what you said in the review. "The esoteric reference" is referring to what? Tonedeff being obscure? Because he isn't.

drewcordova
May 2nd 2012



705 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Because the gift of my flow is polished to a fault." - Tonedeff on Champions. The reference is esoteric because the song isn't well known. My use of it was a tribute to people's limited knowledge of his work. Also, a sober analysis doesn't need to do an album justice. I'm trying to paint a clear picture for somebody who might pick it up. That means taking the good with the bad. If you would rather see a fanboy review, write one yourself.

MalleusMaleficarum
May 3rd 2012



13812 Comments


dont mind idnuf

FadedSun
May 3rd 2012



1245 Comments


I'm pretty sure you're joking since you know this isn't a band.

Adabelle
May 3rd 2012



4231 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I don't remember listening to any track on this more than once except Porcelain

Idnuf
May 3rd 2012



1491 Comments


My use of it was a tribute to people's limited knowledge of his work


That's incredibly idiotic. If you're "trying to paint a clear picture for somebody who might pick it up" then you shouldn't have a useless reference that's confusing because it sounds like you're criticizing him. So this is supposed to be for someone who doesn't know Tonedeff, yet you take a fragment of lyric that context COMPLETELY changes and put it in your review.

Also, a sober analysis doesn't need to do an album justice.


I'm sorry, maybe you just don't understand reviewing? "Doing an album justice" does not mean praising it endlessly, it means praising what is done right and criticizing what is done wrong. That isn't done in this review. You don't say much of substance here (wow, one song has a bass line AND singing? consider me impressed). You tell me that there are high points and low points, ok, why are the high points high and the low points low?

I like your point that he goes more for showing off than making good songs, and I agree that it's a problem. That and the "high point low point" deal are the only things you say. The review starts with your own experience with the album which nobody cares about. Then it goes into describing a few songs, with meaningless phrases. Saying he used polysyllabic rhyme schemes doesn't convince me either way. The next paragraph is more filler, and then you say your one good point.

I disliked this review not because you didn't worship it (I don't even really listen to Tonedeff anymore), but because most of it didn't say anything of substance. Calling it "sober analysis" makes it sound as if you analyzed something.

I mean I looked at your profile and you 5'd Opeth so it's not surprising that you think much more of your taste than you should. I assure you, you don't have discerning taste in music.

My disenchantment with the genre post 2000 grew to such great heights that I wouldn't even consider listening to a rapper that was on the radio.


I mean this basically cements it.

drewcordova
May 3rd 2012



705 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If you are trying to tell me that you didn't like my review; point taken. Your tastes in reviews are different from mine. I appreciate your feedback, and will use it as fuel for any future review I write.

drewcordova
December 8th 2012



705 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Review has been re-worked due to what I believe to be mostly honest and constructive criticism. Hopefully this conveys my point more clearly than the last.



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