[Review] Murs and Terrace Martin Are… Melrose

My second review for City Life

Murs and Terrace Martin Are…

Melrose (www.mursworld.com)

::hip-hop

For the uninitiated, there’s a stigma that independent hip-hop is all about serious lyrics and mean mugs. Murs and rapper/producer Terrace Martin explode the myth with their collaborative effort, Melrose.

Though both men are capable of substantive rhymes, the album is dedicated to life in all of its excess. The beauty is in the simplicity. And one look at most of the track titles gives one a good idea of what to expect. “Fresh Kicks” finds Murs waxing poetic about his love of shoes, backed by a mid-tempo beat from Martin, while “Doin Me” finds the dreadlocked emcee telling a coming-of-age story.

Even when the album ventures into love and relationships, the mood remains light. “She’s A Prostitute” offers a comedic defense of sex workers. “Hoodrat Blues” and “She’s A Loser” discusses less-than-desirable partners. The album does briefly veer into serious terrain with “Thank U,” highlighting the tale of a girlfriend who used to deal with a deadbeat boyfriend.

At 14 tracks deep, Murs and Terrace Martin take listeners on a feel-good, free-love ride through Southern Cali on Melrose, an album versatile enough for cruising, smoking or making love.

ANTHONY SPRINGER JR.

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