Big Boi
Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors


2.5
average

Review

by Brendan Schroer STAFF
December 12th, 2012 | 132 replies | 11,051 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Diversity for the sake of diversity.

There's always a certain niche of artists in any medium that try to force art down audiences' throats, telling us it's "new," "innovative," or whatever the phrase or word may be. Remember the film Moulin Rouge? It was essentially the film that reinvigorated musical cinema, but unfortunately replaced interesting characters and a solid script with excessive amounts of style and the director's vision of trying to be "avant-garde." It didn’t seem like there was a real cohesive vision, just bouts of stylistic nonsense that the filmmakers probably hoped would distract viewers from the lack of content within. Unfortunately, Outkast member Big Boi has fallen into a similar scenario with Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors.

Whereas the genre shifts permeating Outkast’s predominantly hip-hop-oriented work was actually meaningful and served to strengthen much of their songwriting, Vicious Lies sees Big Boi experimenting just for the sake of experimenting. Half of the time, I’d beg for him to progress, to finally reach the climax he’s been so diligently building listeners up for; all that would come about is more pointless nonsense to fill up the running time of the record. It may seem like a fool’s errand to criticize an artist for expanding his/her sound, but the point is that Big Boi’s record simply doesn’t build up well on its experiments.

To start off, Boi sounds a bit tired and lethargic for a good chunk of the record. While this may work on records like the murkily produced Madvillainy by Madvillain, the well-produced nature of Vicious Lies leaves Boi sounding loud and clear, and thus more susceptible to sounding slow and even lazy at times. Adding to this, the constant guest appearances (on every song but “Apple of my Eye”) aren’t really enough to gloss over the situation, and even occasionally ruin a song by not melding well with Big Boi’s delivery. Case in point: on “Shoes for Running,” Nathan Williams’s “eccentric”, a.k.a. obnoxious, vocals are such a far cry from Boi’s rapping style that the whole song could have been a disjointed Soundcloud experiment; just replace the original beats with some Fruity Loops samples and you’d be good to go.

To be fair, other guest appearances are very solid and deserving of a mention; for instance, there’s “In the A,” which has Ludacris and T.I. helping enhance the funky, almost deranged style of the beats and atmosphere. Furthermore, “Lines” has Sarah Brethel’s soulful vocal melodies glazed nicely over the futuristic, almost robotic beat. The guest rappers A$AP and Phantogram also do a solid job of providing good rhymes and consistent raps to the mix. Songs like these provide moments of the real potential the record had.

Again, however, the biggest problem is that Big Boi’s eclecticism never adds up to anything truly substantial with the exception of a few choice moments. Among those moments are “CPU,” which has a soulful undertone to the rumbling beats beneath to create a nice dynamic contrast, and the deluxe edition’s “Higher Res,” which almost sounds like an R&B Animal Collective fever dream, psyched-out vocal effects and all. Unfortunately, for every song that’s promising, there are always moments like the obnoxiously peppy synth-pop-esque excursion “Mama Said” or the cheesy lyrics of some of the guest artists to ruin the party.

Essentially, Big Boi tried to do too much and accomplished too little. Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors has a great deal of promise as an overall record, but is so marred by uninspired rapping and wildly inconsistent guest appearances that it quickly becomes more frustrating than entertaining. Maybe if Big Boi focuses more on the music than its presentation the next time around, then perhaps the result will truly be something to root for.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
oltnabrick
December 12th 2012



30067 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Hillary what do you think about this song


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nt0C7yVhkaY

Digging: Stellar OM Source - Ocean Woman

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
December 12th 2012



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

ergh you guys, you're forcing my hand here. I think I'm gonna have to review this, you guys are gonna hate it.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
December 12th 2012



23798 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

also apparently one of the reasons I love this so much is that I have 3 extra tracks, which means that the album doesn't end on tracks 12-14 (which are my 3 least favourite songs on the album) so yeah, that helps a lot. probably 4/5 without tracks 15-17

FourthReich
December 12th 2012



17071 Comments


"To start off, Boi sounds"

i lol'd at that for some reason, his rap name really is stupid but addressing him as "boi" is even worse idk. i've never liked his flow personally and have never listened to his solo stuff and don't intend to, pos'd for reinforcing my negative opinion of "boi".

Digging: Dot Hacker - How's Your Process? (Work)

oltnabrick
December 12th 2012



30067 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

listen to Lucious Left Foot.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
December 12th 2012



4378 Comments


Good review, Brendan. I haven't heard this yet, though I may check it out just because I was an occasional listener of Outkast (Mainly for "Mrs. Jackson" and "Hey Ya".)

FourthReich
December 12th 2012



17071 Comments


"listen to Lucious Left Foot."

i've tried trust me, honestly i only enjoy his features

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
December 12th 2012



4507 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

B.O.B. is prob greatest hip hop song ever made

oltnabrick
December 12th 2012



30067 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Can someone explain why UGK is credited as being on the album?

Pimp C is dead and Bun B is the only other member

ITsHxCTOASTER
December 12th 2012



2476 Comments


oltnabrick I am so glad you know that song

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
December 12th 2012



21573 Comments


just watched Mama Told Me on youtube and it was awful

will give this a miss

Digging: Septicflesh - Communion

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
December 12th 2012



19432 Comments


Excellent review. I really dug his last album though so hopefully I like this more than you

Digging: Musk Ox - Woodfall

chambered49
December 12th 2012



1727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

left foot poops on this still in the a rules

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
December 12th 2012



9977 Comments


Great review. I disagree so strongly, though - I may have to write a positive one on this. On Aids with this one.

Digging: Deniro Farrar - Rebirth

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
December 12th 2012



9977 Comments


Rather, *with Aids on this one ;D

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
December 12th 2012



19432 Comments


I want to write a review on this too lol looks like there will be a lot of big boi reviews.

oltnabrick
December 12th 2012



30067 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It's not at Koi No Yokan levels so its ok

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
December 12th 2012



19432 Comments


deftones ugh

oltnabrick
December 12th 2012



30067 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I might put this on my best of 2012 list for the user thing.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
December 12th 2012



19432 Comments


put regina spektor too



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