CD Reviews

Oneirology, Terrace Martin & Devi Dev Present: The Sex EP and F.A.M.E.

Southern Underground Hip-Hop

CunninLynguists Oneirology (Bad Taste Records/RBC Records)


The hip-hop trio from Kentucky and Atlanta known as CunningLynguists have unquestionable talent. The trio—led by the brilliant production of Kno, with rhymes of Deacon the Villain and Natti—has dropped four severely underrated albums. Their fifth, Oneirology, continues the trend of remarkable music. The album, whose title means “the scientific study of dreams,” tackles topics such as dreaming disorders and the different stages of sleep. The remarkable production also reflects the album’s subject matter as each beat is orchestrated with a sort of “dreamy” vibe. Simply put, this album is arguably one of the group’s finest. The brilliant “Stars Shine Brightest” and its cruising guitar pulsates as Deacon rattles off rhymes of individuals seeking euphoria. Elsewhere, “Enemies With Benefits” deals with the girl of your dreams becoming your worst nightmare, while “Murder” with Big K.R.I.T. focuses on the unexplainable evils that cause tragedy. With an album as powerful lyrically and sonically as this, it’s a wonder why they haven’t become bigger than what they are. ★★★★☆

A Soft Porn Jazzy Hip-Hop Fest

Terrace Martin Terrace Martin & Devi Dev Present: The Sex EP (Self-Released)


If you need an indication about the diversity of California musician and producer Terrace Martin, 28, look no further than his résumé. A child prodigy at the age of 6, Martin’s musical prowess caught the attention of Jay Leno and world-renowned jazz musician Billy Higgins. The former presented him with a scholarship while the latter made him a part of the World Stage All-Stars fresh out of high school. But rather than stick with jazz, Martin opted for hip-hop and has since worked with everyone from Snoop Dogg to Stevie Wonder. His solo effort is a musical exhibition that blends jazz, hip-hop and funk into one smooth journey. The jazzy rehashing of Joe’s “All the Things” finds Terrace wailing on his saxophone as Autotune is used to whisper nasty pillow talk throughout the song. This is, after all, titled The Sex EP, so things tend to get a little NC-17 rated on songs such as “Climax” and “Cum Baby.” But considering that the music is so well put together, it doesn’t feel as pornographic as it could be. If you haven’t taken notice to Martin yet, this is the perfect introduction. ★★★★☆

R&P/Pop/Dance Hybrid

Chris Brown F.A.M.E. (Jive)


It’s been a long road to redemption for Chris Brown (one perhaps made longer by his recent Good Morning America outburst), which is why the 21-year-old’s first album without the Rihanna debacle hovering over him is so significant. F.A.M.E. finds Brown moving past his fall from grace and back into the hearts of fans. Brown is more mature, but sometimes he tries too hard to be a sex machine and may confuse his fan base. His experiments with pop and dance work out well—“Yeah 3x” already has nightclubs bouncing, and the Justin Bieber-featured “Next 2 You” is a certain hit. His slinky bedroom jam “Beg for It” is surefire baby-making music. But when Brown slips, he crashes with a nasty impact. He falls flat on his face when trying to rap on “Look at Me Now” and comes off corny on “Bomb.” One thing is for sure, that innocent little boy is a grown-ass man. Whether or not his fans will accept it is left to be seen. ★★★☆☆

Suggested Next Read

I Am Number Four (PG-13)

Movie Review

I Am Number Four (PG-13)

It’s Twilight with aliens! In this endearingly dumb, surprisingly entertaining sci-fi flick, John Smith (Alex Pettyfer) tries to blend in at his new school while harnessing superhuman powers and running from a murderous gang of tattooed villains who look like Voldemort at a leather bar. Based on a YA novel by James Frey and Jobie Hughes, I Am Number Four isn’t much more than a sexed-up teen Superman, but it’s shameless fun.