Goodie Mob - Survival Kit: Review
As it has been with most of 2020, the influx of decent to great outputs from artists who have passed their prime. From the monstrous release of Xzibit and B-Real and the typical outcome of a Public Enemy album. This time around we have Goodie Mob coming back into the fold after a quiet 7 year absence. Their new album, Survival Kit, continues to show us that the group hasn’t lost a step since then.
As it is with many groups, there is the stereotypical “Beyonce” or the one breakout star. Cee-Lo may be their shining star, but his smooth vocal cords and succulent raspy falsetto compliments the other three’s direct and gritty realism in those deeper voices bring life to the music. They bring in help from The Dungeon Family with Organized Noize producing, Big Boi and Andre 3000 appearing in separate tracks. The only disappointment here is that they aren’t on a track together as it has been some time since the last collaboration. “Prey 4 Da Sheep,” and “No Cigar,” respectively are immediate highlights.
However, not every track hits hard like the individual standouts and at times feels muddled initially after each interlude separating the factions. It’s opening is this bombastic approach reminding the world they haven’t tripped. It mellows out allowing us to hear their deep rooted emotions and elevates itself again to make sure they leave a lasting impact. Soul Food, their debut, made this claim and Survival Kit is bringing it back.
This is for the album’s benefit to have distinguishing factors for the replay value it carries. The middle tracks may not be for everyone as it does have a developed mood. But the varying production styles and lyricism in the first and third sections have the most return value.
Survival Kit is crafted with more meticulous detail in the instrumentations. It is very hypnotic. And the interesting choices on them adds new dimensions. They have these low-key thematic percussion to steer direction. Like the slow - medium level percussion on “Off-Road,” add that southern soul-flare with the guitar acting as a piece of Cee-Lo with the chorus, especially in the opening where the guitar leads you toward the dirt road. And then there is the elegance of “Calm B 4 Da Storm,” where the outer layers are ever changing, as the percussion keeps it from passing the calm levels.
Organized Noize and Goodie Mob really bring their all here. Survival Kit is full of great tracks, some that stand out more than others, with ingenuity.