Boston MC Edan’s 2005 album Beauty and the Beat was one of the most vibrant, refreshing records to hit the hip-hop scene in some time. Edan embraced the roots of hip-hop, cutting tracks that sounded paradoxically revolutionary and nostalgic, blending capable lyrical wit with production techniques that were distinctly old-school. His latest offering, Echo Party, is a violent departure:
a one-track, 29-minute celebration of self-indulgence and straight-up wankery. That’s not to say that there’s no compelling material here — the sampling is solid and maintains a steady momentum — it’s just that it’s buried among never-ending loops and simplistic catcalls. Edan retains his spaced-out style and his twisting, complex ethos, but the result is nowhere near as compelling as his previous efforts. Hardcore fans and experimentalists may ind new veins to mine. But for the rest of us, digging them up just isn’t worth the effort.