I'm a big fan of Paul White - his recent album 'Shaker Notes' was one of my favourites of last year - and this new project with Eric Biddines just reinforces the fact that pretty much everything he touches turns golden (see what I did there?). I must admit I wasn't sure what to expect of the record after the quirky, Outkastaliciousness of lead single 'Auntie Pearl's House', but this is an assured and mature record covering a host of styles, as well as another Outkast-style song in 'Holy Macaroni'.
White shows his magpie nature, dipping in and out of different genres to pick the bit's he likes and stitching them together beautifully. He even manages to sample himself, with 'It's Over' stealing from 'Where You Gonna Go?' on Shaker Notes.
Lyrically Biddines covers a range of subjects, dealing with life and love and everything in between, sometimes seriously and sometimes less so. 'Don't Be' gives advice on how to live your life without being a bitch to people, while 'Talkin' 'Bout' is one of those 'this is me and what my life's about' kind of raps where you find out that Eric "don't drink and don't smoke and don't like to do no dishes"
There's funk and soul on here too, as 'Down South Boogie', the next single, blends funk and disco with an insistent rhythm and a catch "we got another one, yeah we got another one" lyric. Meanwhile 'Play Some Luther' shows that Biddines can hold a tune as he gets his sexy on in this slow jam.
Anyone who can get Mos Def to make a guest appearance is clearly doing something right, and the smooth, downbeat sound of the track that features him 'Never Die' is definitely one of the highlights here.
Overall this is a great, positive hip-hop album, cliché free and full of invention.