23 Songs, 1 Hour 18 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

the little mermaid ,

I love this album!!!

This dude is awesome!!!!

asilentecho ,

A tour de force

One has to wonder when the rest of the music scene and the public at large will "Get With the Program" as the opening track of Boom Boom's self-titled CD implores. This inaugural joint venture from dance music artists Boom Boom and G.U.G.G. hits the listener like a shot in the arm, an inoculation against the stale and predictable packages coming from better known hit factories. What do you get when you mix "the Haitian Sensation" Leslie Dalencour with a talented and up-and-coming producer from the Berkley College of Music, Alexi von Guggenberg? The answer is nothing less than a thrill ride of epic proportions that pays homage to existing genres while breakage new ground in an often irreverent and honest manner.

Boom Boom is a tour de force, an album that introduces the listener, in pieces, to the different elements of the equation that is this partnership. If "a" equals up tempo grooves and "b" equals the sweet sonority of Dalencour's voice, then the listener doesn't need algebra to solve for "fun." The album as a whole serves as a reminder that we don't need to take music so seriously to reach levels that can be described as genius. For every catchy chorus and brilliant soundscape around it, there is a direct message and clarity of emotional intent. From the swinging party tributes like "Chillin' in Miami" and "Boom Badoom" to the parting shot everyone wishes for in "Kiss It," to the outright absurdity of G.U.G.G.'s rap in "Jigiddy Bomb," the album often embraces frivolity above the fastidiously choreographed pain of a Miley Cyrus in "Wrecking Ball."

Speaking of G.U.G.G., it bears mentioning that he is the main driver of order on this album. At the risk of extending the analogy too far, G.U.G.G. defines the equation as something dealing with rational numbers. As performer and producer (he is, after all, the head of the cleverly-named LXE Productions), he brings structure to each song. His raps serve as the vocal counterpart to Boom Boom while giving structure to a significant number of tracks. Whereas Boom Boom sets the stage through verse and chorus, G.U.G.G. breaks it down to its most clever and surprising, usually three quarters of the way through or as the first verse after an opening chorus. If it seems formulaic, it's still a formula that works and one that isn't slavishly adhered to when it doesn't make sense. Energetic, vocal-centric songs like "It's All Love" and "Power Ball" don't require a rap and as such don't have one.

Still, it would be foolhardy to dismiss the DNA that works so well in the album's highlights. A trio of the strongest numbers make the case better than anything. "Bad Bad Baby," "Da Me Lo" and "Jigiddy Bomb" all feature strong vocal performances of addictive choruses, clever, whimsical lyricism and well-constructed raps on top of absolutely superb orchestration and production. The magic that comes together in the best moments of the album showcase a keen sense of timing and impressive technical skills. In fact, if there was one major criticism, it would be that these moments don't take up a larger percentage of the album. The presence of 23 tracks typically belies a lack of restraint and ability to make the tough decisions. While there may be no duds, this album would benefit greatly from fewer songs and the hits not being strewn so far apart.

It remains to be seen if the efforts of Boom Boom and G.U.G.G. pay off in popular and commercial success, but at this early stage it appears obvious that they have a partnership that is bringing out the best in both musicians. The tenor of Dalencour's voice is unique and appealing and is only brought into focus more through the exceptional co-writing and producing talent of Guggenberg. As they further refine and develop their collaboration, one can only hope that they retain this core element that helps make this album as exceptional as it is.

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