Album Review :
Ruslan - Indie Jones II

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Label: Kings Dream Entertainment
Release Date: January 18, 2018

Tracklisting:

  1. Dozen Intro
  2. Time To Go
  3. Cool Guy Raps
  4. Cold Flow (feat. WHATUPRG)
  5. Like That (feat. Jon Keith and Derek Minor)
  6. Back Against The Wall (feat. Jet Trouble and nobigdyl.)
  7. Hyena (feat. YourWelcome)
  8. Wrong Time (feat. Charlene Nash)
  9. Winona’s Song (feat. Mannywellz)
  10. Paul’s Dime (feat. Paul Russell)
  11. Bring Me To Life (feat. Dom Marcel)

Just because some people use a lot of words does not mean that they say a lot. This linguistic dilemma has been expressed in popular culture through numerous means, from Miss Othmar in the Peanuts cartoons, to the less specific (and pejorative) title of “chatterbox” and its synonyms. Unfortunately, I feel that Indie Jones II falls into such a predicament.

This is unfortunate because Ruslan actually has interesting things to say (hear his controversial song “Random Thoughts 4 (Shai Linne)”). Not only that, but he is particularly well spoken, as made evident by his album reviews on YouTube. However, on Indie Jones II, he does not visit many interesting topics, and instead contents himself with churning out self-reflective lyrics as an underground artist and rhyming for the sake of rhyming. Sometimes this works, most notably on songs like “Cold Flow” and “Back Against The Wall,” but mainly because the music is exceptionally interesting. The former includes some great beat switches while the latter includes an addicting hook from Jet Trouble.

“Cool Guy Raps,” is a lyrical exception, however, for its well-intentioned mockery of the ills of the pop rap scene. Ruslan says with conviction: “Willfully addicted womanizer and adulterer / euthanizing yourself, that can never be cultured.” This song deserves repeated listens for its wise lyrics and head-nodding rhyme patterns.

Sadly, the great moments on Indie Jones II are overshadowed by many weak hooks (“Cold Flow,” “Hyena,” “Paul’s Dime”), occasionally uninteresting production (“Bring Me To Life”), and a zeitgeist of trap beats. Like I said earlier, Ruslan keeps the underground persona intact lyrically, but musically, this album caters to today’s trends. In my opinion, Ruslan is at his best when he appeals to the underground musically, something I found to be quite lacking here.

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