Starting off strong with the crew track, Talk Music, DeepSpace5’s 2005 album, Unique, Like Everyone Else, bumps in your ears from the first verse to the last, and every verse in between. Seriously; There isn’t a single weak verse on the CD. If this album is anything, it’s a fitting demonstration of the skills and styles of each of DS5’s members.
The tracks are consistently tight as well, with the dominant flavor of acoustic drums and samples of real instruments rather than synth sounds. The majority of these are courtesy of Dust, standing out particularly on Embrace, Axe to Grind, and The Last One. His style blends seamlessly, however, with Beat Rabbi in the transition from Embrace to Mechanical Advantage, arguably one of the most intense tracks on the disc. Several of the tracks are graced by the turntable hijinx of Manwell?’s expert DJ style.
Now’s a good time to get the few gripes out of the way, and these are essentially tracks that wouldn’t be missed, had they been left off: Truth be Told leaves the listener wishing the track had been done over. The flapping-window-shade percussion sounds too much like Citizen King’s annoying Better Days from the late 90’s. The droning monotony of They Say detracts a bit too much from the otherwise sweet rhymes for someone to really enjoy it. Finally, One for the Road talks about the doldrums of touring and is so sleepy that nobody should listen to it while on the road themselves!
With the fake funk out of the way, here are some of the particulars that make this album worth the coin: Sivion. This guy’s fantastic, and probably the best emcee on the disc. His rhyme style is distinctive without trying too hard. His verses on The Last One and Last Ditch Effort are perfect examples of his lyrical, rhythmic, and rhyming skill, with quirky passages wrapped into intricate phrasing. Other verbal treats come from Playdough, Listener, and Manchild. Even with such standout rappers another of this album’s strengths is the equal space each emcee seems to get on most of the tracks while still forming songs with coherent themes.
Give this CD one listen and enjoy the freshness of a complete Hip-Hop album with strong musical tracks. Listen to it a few more times and experience the depth of talent privy to DeepSpace5 and few other crews.