Dennis Bagwell has the onerous honor of garnering one of the lowest ratings ever given by NeuFutur. However, itâ€™s been about 6 months since I reviewed eir last album, â€œA Random Litter of Thoughtâ€. â€œAll Our Friends are Enemiesâ€ has a weak version of President Bushâ€™s set of vocals doing some stream of consciousness rant as looped samples of vocals are played throughout the background. The rhymes are all obvious and do not go for the more clever or trying links.
A mix between slam poetry and rap, Dennis Bagwellâ€™s vocals bury themselves in the red line the entire time. Perhaps moving away from the microphone or allowing the producer to mix the different parts of the track would be a move forward. I mean, I like political commentary and wish more acts would do it, but this commentary should exist in either spoken word form or should be meshed full-cloth inside of a song. This middle-ground of Bagwellâ€™s just does not impress, and makes individuals struggle to even get through the first track on â€œPaid in Fullâ€. â€œScars and Stripes Forever â€“ Part IIâ€ uses the American anthem as it sounds coming out of a fifty year old radio, and is hidden in the background by the same irritating and weak flow achieved by Bagwell.
Include a zine with your next CD, talk on a few tracks, just do something that removes your flow from the tracks here. It is not as if the backing beats are much better, simply consisting of distorted and chopped up quotations and songs, but still. The level of talent expressed in this Frankensteinâ€™s monster of slam poetry is the equivalent of those spoofs of slam poets showcased by shows like Kids in the Hall, Saturday Night Live, and Cheap Seats. I bet that Bagwell has strong convictions, and I love that. I bet I would agree with most of what ey Is saying throughout the entirety of the disc, but even I canâ€™t get through the twenty-five minutes of â€œmusicâ€ that are presented to listeners during â€œPaid in Fullâ€. I would give Bagwell one final chance, just for the â€œthree strikes and youâ€™re outâ€ prophesy to become true. I hope other reviewers for other magazines and media outlets find the beauty in Bagwellâ€™s â€œPaid In Fullâ€, but I canâ€™t and not lie to myself and my readers. Pass on this disc and this artist for now.
Top Tracks: None
Dennis Bagwell â€“ Paid in Full / 2006 Batteryface / 10 Tracks / http://www.batteryface.com / Reviewed 25 February 2007