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REKS - Straight, No ChaserShow-Off Records

REKS
Straight, No Chaser

Ever sit down to listen to an album for the first time and feel like you’ve heard it before?  Not because it’s unoriginal, but because the tracks are so soothing that you identify with them immediately. Well, that’s what’s going on with REKS’ newest LP, Straight, No Chaser, produced solely by Statik Selektah.  Hate him or love him, Statik knows how to produce tracks that fit the style of the accompanying MC, and he seems to understand REKS and where he’s coming from.  That said, at times throughout this effort, REKS’ lyrical strength overshadows the simplistic beats and moves the production to the background.

Straight, No Chaser offers a number of standout tracks, touching on a wide variety of topics. “Autographs”, with its Beastie Boys sample, causes some misty-eyed nostalgia early on, but quickly switches gears thanks to REKS’ grateful tone.  “Power Lines” has a sample-heavy beat including a Snap! cut, as REKS passionately delivers his political yet hopeful message. “Parenthood”, as its title indicates, is about being a parent in the hood.  “Regrets” is a sentimental ballad that pins the MC’s heart to his sleeve and adds some needed vulnerability to the album.

The title Straight, No Chaser is a spot on reflection of REKS’ unapologetic honesty; he attacks the mic with intelligence and force as he slowly unveils a personal story.  Selektah understands his role, but his production misses the mark in intensity on a few tracks.  His side of the LP warrants a more appropriate title: Whisky With Water.

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