To solely credit Chuck Inglish for what, on record, is his third studio album would be disingenuous. From start to finish, Ev Zepplin is a collaborative effort. Every track features at least one guest artist, and the entire album is brought together by the highly touted (and deservedly so) production duo of JP and Rich Gains, collectively known as Blended Babies. The shine of their music is what ties all of this work together and, ultimately, is the only thing that keeps it from drifting into compilation disc territory.
And when I say shine, I mean really shine. The music of Ev Zepplin is easily the best part of the experience. Blended Babies never falls into a predictable method of delivering the listener a sound. Some songs, like We On, are driven by a thumping and distorted bass riff. Others, such as Scenic Route, fall back on splashy cymbals and a simple, yet effective, drum beat. None of the ten tracks ever are limited to what everyone on the radio does. It’s never predictable and it doesn’t endlessly repeat itself, either. Every song is worth listening to just to hear the arrangement if nothing else.
On the flipside, the vast number of guest spots on this album create a disconnect between the tracks. It comes close to feeling like a Pandora station, pulling similar songs together into a play list and feeding them to you one after another. The other problem here is that each song essentially lives and dies based on whoever is on the track. To put it simply, when things work, this album is amazing. The combination of artists works well together and pair well with the music that was laid down. Unfortunately, when things don’t come together just right, it completely falls apart. Some tracks feel like the rapper or singer added their contribution with little to no regard to the music. Other tracks feature artists that, to be blunt, just aren’t as good as others and drag the entire experience down. So what you the listener are left with is a very mixed bag of tracks that range from incredible to mediocre at best.
What you end up with is an okay album that could have been a great album, which to me is even worse than the album just being really bad. The potential was there, but something didn’t click or too many people got involved.
Overall Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Favorite Track: Over Much (feat. Alex Wiley, Caleb James)