Prefuse 73 - Preparations

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With more aliases than the entire WuTang Clan and Kool Keith combined, Guillermo Scott Herrren returns to his Prefuse 73 moniker for the first album under that guise since 2006. It’s been a windy path with each successive release met with diminishing enthusiasm by his fanbase.

Spakling chimes and tweaked vocal snippets herald the first track proper Beaten Thursdays, sounding like a return to elements of his earlier contortions of hip hop. This is short lived as Aborted Hugs soon juts into your earhole with it’s insistent strings, sproadic trumpet and droning organs in the background. This is blatantly one of the albums strongest moments – although clocking in a at 1.29 – evidently Herren doesn’t believe in too much of a good thing. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Things take a dramatic turn left into the beaty, folksy, demented vocal of Class of 73 Bells. This is exactly the sort of fare that had fans of the b-boy persuasion running for cover two or three albums ago. After his opening volley of tracks, things taper considerably. Moments of joy are to be discovered amongst the detritus, but are so few and far between that one feels cheated for investing the effort to seek them. The remainder of the album sounds remarkably like a series of studio floor clippings from his earlier releases. Instantly familiar, yet undeniably inferior. With no discernable highlights, Preparations will see more skip action that a Jump Rope for Heart convention.

Sell your copies of Security Screenings and Surrounded, buy doubles of Vocal Studies and Extinguisher and lament the decline of one of the most inventive producers within the last 10 years of hip hop. Hopefully Herren will rebound and make an incendiary album that will make myself, and everyone else, eat their words. Until that day, refuse the Prefuse.

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