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Posted on April 3rd, 2015 (2:00 pm) by Mark Philipp

GRiZ is a DJ and producer from Michigan, who is perhaps most well known for his fusion of live DJing while simultaneously shredding on the saxophone. Despite the anachronistic idea behind his entire style, GRiZ has been attracting all sorts of attention from around the world, and after listening to what he has to offer, it's easy to see why. Already having a few albums under his belt, the young artist has returned with Say It Loud, a solid release that further progresses his established “future funk” sound, while blending in elements from a wide range of other genres into a grand, but unfocused, effort.

At its core, Say It Loud is an eclectic and energetic album that has a little bit of everything thrown into the mix. There's some funk, some dubstep, some rap (courtesy of Talib Kweli, who delivers a completely unsurprising, but entirely thrilling feature on “For the Love”), and even a bit of choral singing. There's no chance that all of these songs would ever fly at the same party, but on the right playlist, they'd each find a perfect home. Sometimes these elements are tossed together into surprisingly cohesive partnerships, as in “Funk Party,” a funk-dubstep hybrid jam that all but forces feet into motion (a style the artist has proclaimed as "future funk"). Other tracks rely on soulful bellows or run-of-the-mill production to get the job done, but even at its most generic, GRiZ's latest never feels uncompelling or lazy. It's always working hard to get listeners' blood pumping, whether a groovy bassline or a club-stomping breakdown is momentarily taking center stage.

The diversity is certainly appreciated, but sometimes Say It Loud's greatest moments can be diluted by the abrupt shifts in tone. At any given time, GRiZ could be giving us either a sing-along ballad or a drum 'n' bass acid trip (a change that occurs mid-song more than once). Occasionally, you would swear that it's the soundtrack to a weird videogame that doesn't exist yet. Though there are general themes that run throughout, such as the funk-centered melodies and hip hop beats, a feeling of inconsistency is unavoidable. There are no tracks that could be considered poor in quality, but as an album, focus has been thrown out the window.

Say It Loud is a successful exploration for GRiZ, proving that he can tackle new things without falling off the deep end, but it also proves that a little bit of precision could go a long way. As danceable and effective as it can be, the album also suffers under the weight of its own bravado. Records like this are best to listen to in pieces, and when taken part by part, GRiZ's offering is phenomenal. However, put it on and let it play without interruption, and you'll find yourself wondering if you accidentally popped in a “Best Of” instead. Either way, there are enough fresh and fun tunes to keep listeners occupied, even if it is in short bursts.

Track Listing:

  1. The Anthem (feat. Mike Avery)
  2. Funk Party
  3. Get Down (feat. Sunsquabi and Manic Focus)
  4. Need This (feat. The Floozies)
  5. It's All Good (feat. Jessie Arlen)
  6. A Fine Way To Die (feat. Orlando Napier)
  7. For The Love (feat. Talib Kweli)
  8. Stop Trippin (feat. iDA HAWK)
  9. Headspace (Time Is On Our Side)
  10. Turnin (feat. Orlando Napier)
  11. Take It High (feat. Ivan Neville) [Bonus]
GRiZ - Say It Loud Review
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

77 / 100
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