Baby Elephant – Turn My Teeth Up

Baby Elephant – Turn My Teeth Up / 2007 Godforsaken / 17 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/babyelephantmusic /

Baby Elephant consists of Prince Paul (producer of 3rd Bass, De La Soul and part of Handsome Boy Modeling School) and Bernie Worrell, of Parliament and the Talking Heads. Rounding out the trio is Don Newkirk, who has been associated with Prince Paul. The disc is laid out like many classic rap albums, int hat there are countless skits that break up the momentum and lead Baby Elephant treacherously close to the rocks. However, the ability shown by the act, especially during tracks such as “Baby Elephants-N-Thangs”, more than makes up for any weaknesses associated with the skits. The trippy style of “Baby Elephants-N-Thangs” leads in quite nicely to the early nineties flow of “Plainfield”.

“Plainfield” has a little bit more in the way of instrumental intricacies than do songs from the period, and this style is maintained into “Cool Runnins”. Despite the fact that the track is inspired by the movie of nearly the same name, “Cool Runnins” has some of the same style of reggae that fueled many of the rock outings of individuals such as Frank Zappa. Another thing that parallels the work of Zappa on “Turn My Teeth Up” have to be the embracing of a number of different styles on the album. Baby Elephant go to the limits of rap and R&B music and even add things in that are not traditionally used in the genre. It is this incorporation of different sounds and styles that make “Turn My Teeth Up” into an album that has a high replay value. “If U Don’t Wanna Dance” keeps the style back in the early nineties and throws in a little Kid Koala into the mix.  Even though that the style has the retro flow to it,

Baby Elephant is able to keep individuals in the current period interested through the creation of musical sound scapes behind the lyrical flows. The incorporation of industrial sounds and approaches during the title track further expands the conceivable range of the act and gives them more room with which they can end the disc and expand their work on to subsequent albums. Baby Elephant is able to fuse together styles of music in much the same way as the individuals from gangsta rap were able to throw in funk to the equation. The intensity shown by both the vocal and musical segments of this act will ensure that this disc does not sit on the shelf for long.

Top Tracks: Even Stranger, Plainfield

Rating: 6.5/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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