Blueprint – Soul Music / Who Do You Love

2 out of 5

Label: Rhymesayers

Produced by: Blueprint

Are either of these bad songs? No, not by any means. But they’re rather subpar Blueprint tracks, or rather mediocre ones, and so isolated to a single… not much for replay value. I do respect Adventures in Counter-Culture – the album celebrating its 10th anniversary, releasing these formerly digital-only tracks from those sessions on 7″ – and the way ‘Print integrated radio pop and electronics into his soulful, DIY sound, though it’s also admittedly not my favorite version of the artist. …Which isn’t to say that disc is without highlights, though it’s a tricky balance between, like, autotune and ‘Print’s gravelly flow that he has to carefully pull off, and Soul Music / Who Do You Love are when he’s not being so careful.

Soul Music is essentially instrumental. I dig Blueprint’s beats, but I have to admit that his grounding vocals and a penchant for a heavy bottom end do a lot for his music. Stripped of one of those factors – his rhyming – some of his work still swaggers, especially his later and more nuanced stuff; stripped of both of those factors, like this one, it’s about as clean cut and radio friendly head-bobby as ‘Print gets. It’s nigh electro pop. Not bad, as I said, but not a necessity.

Who Do You Love has Illogic Auto-tuned and Slug somewhat phoning in a verse, though I can’t blame him because ‘Print also feels like he’s covering very familiar life-is-tuff territory here, and again, the beat is good but not great. Another average track, perfectly fine mid-album, but pretty weak on its own, especially propped up against the A-side.