I think the biggest letdown for most people is the anticipation that a lot of people had
from this. I can't even get mad at you 'cause what would you expect from Eyedea & Abilities
if you've heard the previous 2 albums and what made Eyedea known (that being Scribble Jam &
Blaze Battle)? Battle lyrics and a few philosophical topics with a lot of turntablism (which
DJ Abilities is clearly capable of even though his production on First Born hasn't even good
enough to match Eyedea's amazing lyrics at times).
But if you would've followed what Eyedea did aside from this duo you would probably not be
that surprised/disappointed (e.g. Eyedea made fun of Scribble Jam because he thought it's
dumb). He went more and more to a kind of dirty rock sound (making a grunge type of album
with Carbon Carousel in '07 and joining the band Face Candy in '06). Taking that into
account and letting By The Throat stand more on its own I think this is a pretty solid &
the 5 is probably pushing it too much but whatever
The album doesn't even go for 30 minutes but for it's time it's an intense, powerful and emotional album. Such amazing lyricism and great production, DJ Abilities gets this Punk Rock/ Hip Hop mixture perfect. Every track is solid with several being obvious standouts, so great that I wanted even more which is the only reason why it might not be a Classic like Eyedea's first two Masterpieces, R.I.P.
Rhymesayers-based hip-hop duo Eyedea & Abilities return after a 5 year hiatus with somewhat mixed results.
They've mostly left behind the aggressive, battle-centric lyrics and turntablism that were present on E&A in favor of a
more indie rock/electronic type sound.
Eyedea's short stint as the vocalist for rock band Carbon Carousel is pretty apparent here, and many of the songs
feature him crooning along to dull and uninspired guitar lines that were obviously intended for the aforementioned
band. Eyedea isn't a particularly good singer either, and the tracks that forgo actual rapping in favor of singing are
generally the more successful ones.
A strong second half makes up for an abysmal first, with solid tracks like Sky Diver, Junk, This Story and Smile.
Another thing worth noting is the apparent lack of DJ Abilities. He still makes a few appearances here and there with
some scratching, but his contributions are seemingly minimal compared to the first two albums. This can be
explained by the complete change in direction sound-wise, but it is still pretty disappointing, considering Abilities
used to be an integral part of the E&A sound.