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SJ The Wordburglar has broken into the hip-hop scene with his debut album The Wordburglar. The production of Halifax stalemates The Beat Mason, Jesse Dangerously, Fresh Kils, Uncle Fester and Dexter Doolittle, provides some thumping bass to contrast ample sampling of refreshing instruments such as "Barry Manilow on the piano."
SJ The Wordburglar shines lyrically on this album. He drops punchy metaphors like "trains get jealous over all the tracks we're making" and "you couldn't wrap even if you worked in a gift shop." Along with witty lines like "hurdling verbs and murdering herbs / spitting so much shit / I'm gurgling turds!" And of course his songs wouldn't be complete without numerous references to everyone from Jesse Barfield and Madonna to cartoon characters like Miss Piggy, GI Joe and Garfield. In fact, on 'Strictly Do This', he informs you "my references make sense, so grab your encyclopedia."
While the rhymes of some featured artists are at times difficult to decipher, SJ The Wordburglar comes through with crisp vocals. My favorite track, 'No Flow', is a slow laid-back left field song where SJ's lyrics might not always be based in reality, but nonetheless are captivating. The storytelling provided on the last third of 'Gray + Bleeding' is a top-notch thrill ride into the minds of the unknown, as told by either SJ or one of the featured artists Thesis or The Makeshift Einsteins. 'Wordburglar' rightfully appeared on the Bassments of Badmen compilation with some of the wittiest lines like "you can't produce like neutered pets, I eat ya up quicker than Skinner at Uter-fest." SJ's multiple personalities on 'Three in the Key' make for an interesting listen, as high-pitched ultra-ego Dandruff counters with Thug Love's low-pitched vocals. Another interesting highlight is an ode to an unknown man (or boy) known as Stuart on the bonus track. The cheesy theme is well masked by SJ The Wordburglar's comedic story about Stuart's escapades. The deep bass at the hands of The Beat Mason and SJ's wordplay makes 'A Midsummer Nights Dream' impressive.
The Wordburglar makes for an impressive debut. Some of the songs can seem long at times, but regardless SJ's lyrical play impresses alongside side some stellar production aimed at pleasing the true underground heads.Troy Neilson
This review was written December 2, 2003
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