Music review: Something Else

Andrea DeBauche, Opinion editor

Tech N9ne’s new album “Something Else” is really something else. Alternative/older-school rap artist Tech N9ne is releasing his thirteenth album here, making him almost 20 years in the business. He has some fun inserting fake news bits, making a loosely based story of a meteor heading toward Kansas. This theme also contributes to the album being divided into three sections: songs of fire, water and earth.

The beginning fire section has many of the most serious and hard hitting tracks. The opening song “Straight Out the Gate” featuring Krizz Kaliko and Serj Tankian leads the album straight out of the gate with declarations of being the “children of your rivals, holding guns while holding rifles.” This and other opening songs are fiery and angry, characteristic to the mood. However, this also contributes to the beginning of the album being a little hard to get in to without necessarily being in an aggressive musical mood.

The next transition section, water, are songs that are starting to mellow out, yet still catch my attention lyrically.  “Fragile,” for example, has a beat I can get in to and lyrics I can start to relate to, speaking of his personal experiences as an artist. It speaks to those who are easy to criticize those of his trade yet are “clueless when you scribble on your pad,”  saying it is easy to make harsh criticisms of any artist, old or new.

The last section, Earth, continues to be both mellow and catchy, making it successfully hip hop. I continue to enjoy featuring artists, such as the groovy  Cee Lo Green and The Doors. Overall, the last half of the album is easy to listen to and a few songs, such as “Believe,” are memorable.

“Something Else” is clearly the work of an experienced artist. Tech N9ne is a skilled writer and has excellent taste with his picks of featuring artists. Being almost entirely a serious album, it did go through some periods of being slow, but progressively won me over. The album is worth a listen and several of the songs stuck out as particularly catchy or interesting.