Review by Oakland July 8, 2009 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
|I would estimate that 80% of my listening is to classical music with most of the remainder being jazz. I don’t recall ever posting about an SACD remotely close to this genre: Hip Hop. If you list out the previous SACDs for which I have posted reviews you will find nothing like this disc. But it might not be my last (except that it may not be another SACD like this). What an experience!
I happened upon the Ludacris: Chicken & Beer disc because one of my sons had it and I noticed that it was not only an SACD but that it was multi-channel to boot. (I have found a couple of other “unintended” SACDs around the house such as “Get Lifted” by John Legend). Also, with out-of-town guests floating in and out there have only been limited windows of opportunity for me to listen when the house is largely empty. A complete classical piece was not an option this evening. So, I gave Ludacris: Chicken & Beer a try.
Let me rest assure that I would never play this disc with my wife anywhere in the zip code, let alone in the house. To say that this disc has explicit content is an emphatic understatement. And to that end I could never “recommend” this disc. But there is no denying that the music (sans the lyrics) is very well done. And I do mean “music”, and nothing less. It is replete with head boppin’, toe tappin’, *SLAMMIN’*, and most importantly, rhythmic melodies.
R&B fans will immediately notice a liberal sampling of some classic R&B tunes such as the Isaac Hayes arrangement of “Walk on By”. Another one is the cut “Diamond in the Back”. The other cuts, too, are nothing short of a sonic extravaganza.
The sound quality is very good and may be excellent. This is not a bunch of over modulated noise that I sometimes read about in some rock releases. The crispness and dynamics are apparent throughout. And the musicianship is truly first rate.
To be sure your woofers will get a full excursion workout, especially if you turn the volume up as is intended. Some of us in urban settings may encounter cars with well-endowed woofer systems that trigger subterranean tremors in their wake. Well this effect can be exponentially more powerful on a full range home system. This disc is a real house shaker. And in multi-channel make no mistake this is an all-hands-on deck production. All speakers are called upon to do heavy lifting to meet the challenge.
While the two channel is compelling, the multi-channel mix is da bomb. It's actually quite sanely done, not at all off the hook mindless pyrotechnics as I may have expected. One of my sons joined me like a call from the wild while I listened to this disc and he said that without doubt the multi-channel truly allows for more expansive creative artistic expression. He has seen Ludacris live and said the multi-channel mix is much closer to the real deal.
So why can I not “recommend” this disc? Well, the lyrics are way too salty for me and are offensive to anyone with whom I associate. Plus the lyrics do nothing to add to the music enjoyment; at least not for me. But to Hip Hop fans that may be as silly as someone saying that opera sounds better without the libretto. Otherwise, as contradictory as it may be there is a lot to enjoy and appreciate here.
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