Shwayze returns with his sophomore album “Let it Beat”

James Cullinane

 

Shwayze posing with producer Cisco Adler during a photoshoot
Shwayze (On right) poses with producer Cisco Adler during a photo shoot.

 

With the release of his self titled album in 2008, Malibu’s own Shwayze was propelled into stardom.  Following up such a successful debut album is a difficult task for every breakout artist.  Shwayze’s newly released album “Let it Beat”, has been a success so far sales wise but has disappointed many original fans.

“Let it Beat” opens with “Livin’ It Up”, an up tempo track featuring a guest appearance by Snoop Dogg.  In this track, Shwayze reflects on how drastically his life changed, such as going from working at Starbucks, to being a millionaire in a matter of months.  “Get U Home”, the first single off of “Let It Beat”, features techno like beats, smooth rhymes, and a catchy chorus sung by producer and partner in crime, Cisco Adler.  The closing track of the album, “Heart and Soul”, sends mixed messages to the listener by featuring rhymes lashing out on the promiscuous ways of women in Los Angeles, although it a lifestyle choice that he openly celebrates throughout the rest of the album.  “Heart and Soul”, is a piece featuring  the legendary E Street Band’s Roy Bittan on the piano.  Bittan is joined on Let It Beat’s guest list by guitarist Ric Ocasek of The Cars.

While Shwayze has returned with his familiar funny, relaxed rhymes, Adler has become much more involved in the music, with longer choruses that occur more frequently in almost every song.  Shwayze’s balenced mix of rap and rock that made his debut album such a success has lost much of its balance.  Many of the digital beats used by most rap artists have been replaced with generic guitar that only bores listener, rather than entertain them.  “Wait All Night” is a track with a perfect example of this as the song begins with Shwayze’s great flow over an electric digitally recorded rhythm.  Halfway through the song as the listener is enjoying this electronic pulse, the music breaks for an unnecessary, highly unoriginal guitar solo.  It is not a rare occurrence on this album for the rock portion of a track to irritate the listener at times with its repetitive nature.

Although “Let It Beat” may not have lived up to the expectations of many Shwayze fans, it should be a moderately successful album that will feature many tracks that recieve high playcounts in clubs, especially in Los Angeles.  To all loyal Shwayze fans out there, do not give up on him yet; he has the potential to make more hit records in the very near future.  On the other hand, if Cisco Adler took some attention off of himself by limiting his involvement in the music, this album could have produced hit singles.  My advice to Shwayze, give up on being a “Rap/Rock” musician and focus on what you do best, making catchy rap party anthems.