Released to absolutely zero fan-fare Cocaine 80’s “The Pursuit EP” is some kind of new project by No I.D. (Kanye West’s mentor and known recently for Jay-Z’s “D.O.A.). We say “some kind of”, only because this EP is extremely puzzling. Bars from Common (labeled “Dope Raps” in the credits) and codeine r&b (Frank Ocean, The Weeknd) inspired singing and songwriting from James Fauntleroy this was completely out of the blue, but not necessarily an unpleasant surprise.
It’s hard not to draw parallels going into this as the timing just seems too coincidental not to. We’re living in a post Nostalgia/ULTRA era where every grounded sing-song is going to be placed right next to it. Where The Weeknd was more about decadence to Frank Ocean’s almost country influenced story driven style of songwriting and singing, Fauntleroy’s feels a lot more traditional. Not a bad thing here and it works surprisingly well with No I.D’s production. “Nothing” is a great example of that old meets new sound that tints the whole album. The track sounds like something you parents would be familiar with from the beat right down to the lyrics. Listening to it, you can’t help but think of Raphael Saadiq’s recent album “Stone Rollin’” and it’s 1960’s Motown inspired/throwback sound.
A big part of why the aforementioned comparison to Frank Ocean’s LP is so easy to make is that both of them share a lot of the same sensibilities. Both focus heavily on telling stories and not just easily digestible pop and consumption based lyricism. The problem here is that Fauntleroy’s lyrics and vocals seem more rehearsed and processed. It sounds practiced. It’s unsure whether this is because he’s been in the industry longer, and has more professional charm but isn’t the opposite kind of the whole point of this honest, soul bearing sound? Or maybe this is just what the middleground will sound like something. Something that can be enjoyed in group and party setting just as much as alone. “Get You Some” and “Anywhere But Here” have beats that sound like they were birthed specifically to be used in the middle or end of some party mix.
Despite being a little harsh, this is a good ep. Five of the seven tracks are lovable but still end up letting them playout most of the time. It’s short and if not for the fifth track (Not No More drags), would be tightly paced. It’s also free and well worth a spin or two especially to those who aren’t on this codeine (not quite here) r&b wave yet. If that’s the case, this might be more your speed.
[wpaudio url=”https://truantsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/07-Anywhere-But-Here.mp3″ text=”Cocaine 80s – Anywhere But Here” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”https://truantsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/02-Summer-Madness.mp3″ text=”Cocaine 80s – Summer Madness” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”https://truantsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/04-Get-You-Some.mp3″ text=”Cocaine 80s – Get You Some” dl=”0″]
Download: Cocaine 80s – The Pursuit Ep