A sort of supplement to his recently released album, Something Else, Tech N9ne’s newest venture comes as a result of his work with Ross Robinson, who has been responsible for the production of Korn and Slipknot albums. Needless to say, Tech was feeling like making some noise on this album and that’s just what he did. “Public School” sees metal riff injections and the use of middle-eastern atmospheres, which seem to suggest that Tech not only wanted to make some noise, but that he also wanted to experiment with further things removed from the hip-hop genre. The jazz-rock grooves of “Head Now” might appeal more to the hip-hop listeners than some of the heavier tracks. “Hiccup” will fall in the same line, being a relatively strong track with a Hed PE. feel, complete with dropped d-tune and thick rhyme delivery. It reminds me of the kind of rap-rock songs that I used to love back in the day, and it’s definitely one of Tech’s strongest tracks. (You can listen to it here.)
The album becomes more experimental and less heavy on the next two tracks, like the classical music meets rock and Baudelaire feel of “Shame On Me”, which features a notable vocal performance in Caroline Dupuy Heerwagen. Her singing and acting really spice up the intrigue and allow Tech’s music to branch hip-hop out farther than… well, anything that Kanye tried. In other words, this album is Tech’s Yeezus, except for the fact that Therapy is actually worth listening to. I even like this album more than Something Else. “When Demons Come” features the screaming of Tyler Lyon, but he doesn’t scream on this track. He sings, more in the vein of what Corey Taylor was supposed to do – you can tell that the song was written for Corey – but for some odd reason, he declined that work. I guess he doesn’t want to be reminded of the rap-influenced Slipknot debut. The song itself is quite melancholy, almost like a hip-hop meets depressing acoustic rock, and it does even more to branch Tech N9ne’s abilities. Though I’ll be honest and admit that it wasn’t my favorite. “I.L.L.” brings back the thumping guitars and an ode to to the opposite sex along with it. Imagine a club “damn she’s hot” song, but with heavier backing influences. It’s certainly catchy, and I’ll admit that I love the direction that Tech is going. I really hope that he doesn’t get bored of experimentation. “Stop The Sailor” is an oddity that closes the piece with soft rock, tribal percussion instruments and strange guitar melodies. It almost has the weird feeling of mixing Pink Floyd with hip-hop.
All in all, this is a new venture for the rapper turned musical entrepreneur, and I’m sure that there will be a barrage of mixed signals upon the release of this disc. Therapy proves that a mainstream experimental hip-hop album can be done right. (Eric May)
Purchase Therapy EP here: http://www.strangemusicinc.net/products_id=10862