Review Summary: If there's such a thing as "generic realness", that's how i'd describe Prozak's most recent effort.
If you follow Tech N9ne’s label Strange Music
at all, you’ve probably heard all the hype over Prozak’s new album, Paranormal
. More than enough promotion videos were made, making the album seem like it was going to be so hardcore and exciting; one couldn’t help looking forward to it. They said the album was dark and real, and they weren’t lying. The thing is, it seems like Prozak tried a little too hard to make it everything it was built up to be, and the end result ended up being chock full of cheese. Not to say the album isn’t good, it definitely has its moments, but in an attempt to be as hardcore he claimed it was going to be he went overboard and ended up just falling short of what he was aiming for.
The first thing I noticed upon listening to the album is that a good portion of the lyrics try to be really meaningful, deep, inspirational, etc…but end up sounding very cheesy and unoriginal. Lines about conforming to the norm and only having one life are stale already, without being used throughout most of this album, like in Prepare For the Worst
and Perception Deception
. When the lyrics aren’t discussing that, it’s one of two other topics; cursing people that did him wrong, or personal, softer ventures that end up being some of the best songs on the album. The “ballads” of the album are the ones that have the least overused topics, and some of the most creative rhymes and best beats (of course any beat sounds better after all the faux-metal backgrounds and simple melodies all over the first half of the album).
Prozak takes plenty of tips out of the Strange Music manual on this album. As I mentioned before there was the metal-like beats (which End of Us
featuring Sid Wilson of Slipknot actually pulls off reasonably well), the predictable guest spots, all songs with similar themes being put next to each other on the track list, he even steals an idea similar to one Tech N9ne had (in his song Worst Enemy
) in the song Farewell
by sounding like he’s talking to a bad boyfriend but it turns out he’s referring to mankind mistreating the earth. If you’re familiar with what the label usually puts out, this will feel even more unoriginal. A breath of fresh air hits once the album gets to Until Then
, which may be the best song on the album. The songs get more meaningful and catchier and the lyrics get less generic. Prozak’s flow is undoubtedly the best part of the album and that really shines from here on.
It’s obvious Prozak has improved as a rapper, now he’s just got cheesier lyrics to go with his new-and-improved flow as opposed to before when he had an average flow and slightly better lyrics. He’s got what it takes, he just hasn’t fully refined his style yet. Paranormal
is somewhat of a downgrade, but it’s a sign that’s telling us he’s getting ready to be better than ever before. Hopefully we’ll see that soon enough and hopefully him and Strange will be smart and not over-hype the hell out of his next album so there’s not as much initial disappointment.