Roni Size/Reprazent In The Mode
Grade C+
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Bill Laswell

After some time Roni Size and his collective known as Reprazent have finally managed to come out with their new album, In the Mode. With guest appearances by Method Man, Rahzel and Zack De La Rocha, this album leans more towards its rap and R&B influences than before. Encompassing 17 tracks and around 75 minutes of music, this album should be a musical treat.

Should be - but the real problem is that with so many tracks including vocals, it seems that Roni and his crew have grow away from the great musical aspects of the first album (Brown Paper Bag, Jazz). At points, this album seems less like drum and bass and more like a faster paced rap album. Musically, some tracks show ingenuity while others really don't bring anything new to the table. Certain tracks even have similar, if not exactly the same, drum beats as previous efforts.

As expected, the production and quality of sound are priceless. Even with the above-mentioned gripes, there are some great songs here. Ghetto Celebrity is surprisingly good, even though the vocals by Method Man make the song sound a bit like Tricky. Other stellar tracks include Mexican, Idi Banashapan and Play the Game.

If you were expecting New Forms Vol.2, then you might be a bit disappointed. While the evident progression is refreshing, fans that lean less towards rap and more towards the jazz aspects of the first album might find this one a bit harder to listen to. In all, it's still a good album worth a listen to for fans of drum and bass.

- - Vane

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