Big Boi – Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors
Buy: Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors
As one half of mega rap/RnB/pop group Outkast, Big Boi was always cast as the straight talker and assured producer next to Andre 3000’s flamboyant space cadet. Now onto his second solo album, Big Boi is starting to show his own exuberant pop nous to compliment his always solid rapping.
In a year lacking in big rap albums, Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors has become one of the most hyped releases of 2012 – and doesn’t quite live up to such raised expectations. It is a decent album though, and Big Boi uses all of his production skills to weave a lot of different genres into a satisfyingly inventive and mainstream whole.
Of all the different styles on display, it’s the poppier aspects of Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors that stand out the most. Unlike his debut solo album Sir Lucious Left Foot…, this album wears its Outkast colours on its sleeve – starting with the bubbly and unashamedly fun ’Apple Of My Eye’.
The tracks featuring soul-pop duo Phantogram are the highlights of the album. ’Objectum Sexuality’ showcases Sarah Barthel’s ability when given a great chorus to work with, while ’CPU gets the full electro-banger treatment with a heavy and dramatic bass line mixed with Barthel’s ethereal vocals about a very 21st Century relationship: ”Cus it’s you that’s on my computer screen / Cus it’s you that’s on my mind.” Phantogram complete their contribution on the A$AP Rocky-featuring ’Lines’ – and steal the show again with another disarmingly simple and effective chorus.
Of the other contributors, Little Dragon seem a little bit wasted on the slow and disjointed album closer ’Descending’ and the stodgy and dull ’Thom Pettie’. Ludacris and T.I. make for an energetic double act on the club banger ’In The A’, and surf-rockers Wavves add a dreamy chorus to ’Shoes For Running’ – which has Big Boi getting all political: ”Hey one percenters / The 99 say what you gonna do for us?”
For all the heavy-hitting contributors, though, Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors is very much Big Boi’s album. Like Kanye’s opus My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Big Boi calls on his production skills just as much as his rapping ability to create a rich and, at times, mesmerising album. While it doesn’t quite reach the heights of Kanye’s modern classic, it cements Big Boi’s status as one of hip-hop’s major players. Plus, he even makes Kelly Rowland sound almost relevant on the single ’Mama Told Me’ – which is no mean feat in itself!