[Editor's note: We screwed up and forgot to upload this week's CD review to the web on Wednesday. Since Eric did a solid job writing it, we figured we'd put it on the blog. - DG
Murs’ first album since signing to Tech N9ne’s Strange Music label is a cross-coast collaboration with Miami crew ¡Mayday! that revels in a nimble, from-scratch artistry while making the most of both halves.
From Los Angeles (and currently Tucson) comes Murs, the smiling, freewheeling MC who draws rhymes from an endless well of subject matter. From Miami comes the six-member ¡Mayday!, combining rap and rock in a distinctly South Florida manner.
The thoroughly entertaining result is like watching an NBA All-Star game when the players actually pass (that analogy probably springs to mind from the James Harden reference on “You Again”). The enthusiastic appreciation Murs and ¡Mayday! share for one another is clear throughout, and one of the record’s chief strengths.
The first single “Tabletops” is the album’s signature cut, with Murs, and ¡Mayday! MCs Bernz and Wrekonize unleashing potent verses in rapid succession, over old-school scratching and a party-making beat. “My Own Parade” kicks off with a funky guitar riff, and Murs inviting fans to hop on the bandwagon with a line that reveals a big of Tucson influence: “It’s an All Souls Processional / Ain’t no question we true rap professionals.”
The album is off-the-cuff, conceived and recorded in three weeks at a Cuban-American social club in Miami. As a result, it’s not always the deepest or most creative material Murs has released, but it’s easy to get caught up in the album’s exuberance.
Will ¡MursDay! come again? That the highly talented participants open each other up to new fanbases might be the agenda for Strange Records, but Murs and ¡Mayday! mix too well for fans to be satisfied with a one-off collaboration.