CRGruve – Naughty and Nice (CD)

“Lunar Dance” is the first track on “Naughty and Nice”, and it will immediately show that CRGruve is attempting to do something significantly different with the rap genre than has been present in the past. This means that there are hints of Spandau Ballet and New Order even as a rap flow brings current acts (The Dream, Drake) into the mix. Where this initial track is challenging for those that may not be familiar with CRGruve, subsequent tracks do well to showcase exactly how large the task the act is attempting to accomplish. “Senorita” is a track that shines based on the absolute fire that is spat flow-wise, while a bit of further polish is given it by the inclusion of a more Caribbean type of sound.

“Water” adds a significant electronic backdrop to the sound brought forth during “Senorita”. Other bits and pieces of distinct genres (such as jazz) are brought in here to keep things popping, and it should be right about here on the album that listeners will realize that CRGruve’s album is miles away from anything else that is being released on the rap scene today. Essentially, the act is able to cut 8 distinct tracks that all possess the same sort of quality, where the modern rap enterprise is oriented on putting a ton of chaff in with one or two solid track.

This is why an album like “Naughty and Nice” will be touted as a revolutionary work where current artists’ albums will be in the discount bin by Christmas. “Frisky” is a track that works within the current confines of popular rap, but CRGruve does not sell themselves out with the track. This is due to the fact that the flow is intelligent (even approaching that of a Outkast), while the peppy backing beat will forever tattoo itself on the hearts of those listening in. Even the disc’s last track, “Bounce”, is solid as all get out. While it touches upon earlier rap schools, CRGruve is able to keep things fresh and sets up listeners for whatever the act may be coming out with in the years to come.

Top Tracks: Lunar Dance, Water

Rating: 8.0/10

CRGruve – Naughty and Nice / 2009 Self / 8 Tracks /

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