Gift of Gab - Escape 2 Mars

Album Review by Gillian Watson | 04 Jan 2010
Album title: Escape 2 Mars
Artist: Gift of Gab
Label: Legendary Music
Release date: 18 Jan

As one half of prolific hip-hop duo Blackalicious, Tim Parker lived up to his alias with a flow that's seen him described by AllMusic as "one of the top MCs of his time". However, on his latest solo LP, Gift of Gab promises much but delivers nothing very extraordinary, suggesting that time may well be past. His verbal dexterity is astonishing as ever on the taut, percussive El Gifto Magnifico, while Electric Waterfalls ushers in some satisfying electronic flourishes (plus large helpings of vocoder). Yet there's something hugely unsatisfying about Escape 2 Mars - the beats are solid and serviceable, but stubbornly lacking in spark, and there's an overriding impression that Parker is speed-rapping his heart out to cover for his lack of something to say. In all, for all its pretensions at fleeing the planet and shooting for transcendence, this album has its feet firmly planted on terra firma. Disappointing. [Gillian Watson]