Always one to try and deliver the site visitors with the most up to date info, I got hold of the album sampler from the forthcoming K7 release, 'My Machine' by Princess Superstar. And I was impressed. The last time I had heard her name, was through her MTV airplayed video for the track 'Bad Babysitter'. Now here she is, delivering an entertaining and complex concept album based around the idea that she lives in 2080, 'where each person is allowed one human clone of themselves so that they may work harder'.
Princess Superstar, like a Bad Babysitter turned Bad 2080 citizen, finds a naughty way to duplicate herself ten thousand times. She then proceeds to wipe out every celebrity in the world and replace each one of them with a copy of her. Still with me? The 'World Council Entertainment DICKtatorship' catches wind of her trickery and tries to put a stop to it, but the sly artist manages to escape their wrath by giving them .01 percent of each of her clone's pay. (We're nearly there).
She's eventually killed dramatically and when the original superstar dies, all of her copies become free. The 'Great Brain Revolution of 3005' begins and entertainment becomes redundant. All is told a lot more straight forwardly across the 25 musical tracks which makes up the new album. Producers Arthur Baker, Armand Van Helden, Mighty Mi, Junior Sanches and Grammy winner Jacques Lu Cont provide beats to this fifth album.
'I Like It A Lot' is an uptemo dance orientated track with a rock flavour. There's lots of character and personality, and the energy levels hit the roof. It's more genuine than recent Gwen Stefanni efforts to be 'weird' and 'wacky' whilst of more substance than the stuff Kelis has been aiming at the radio with since giving up on her older, more intellectual style of music. Princess Superstar isn't rapping here, and it isn't really hip-hop but it's dope none the less.
'10,000 Hits' is a story telling number, touching partly on the story outlined above. The beat is really dope, with some sci-fi type sounds that work well because they're not over the top. It's fairly atmospheric and is listenable. The chorus of the song is it's weakest element, but the verses of rapping sustains interest with ease. The Princesses vocal style is enjoyable and soaked in charisma. She doesn't attempt to drop verses as hard hitting or content charged like Jean Grae or L-boogie because she's aware that those forms of rapping aren't for her. She's also aware that she's got a unique style unheard by most of the general public.
'I'm So Out Of Control', aside from the not so great title, is another enjoyable, more dance orientated journey. The production builds up with more and more layers until its at it's peak, which is a catchy and sustained affair. The rapping is quite loose and not like the regular verse/chorus/verse chorus nature of most hip-hop. This perhaps aids the story being narrated. Again, the chorus of the track isn't that strong but I can see it appealing to the mass market. The bridge is much more on point.
'Coochie Coo' is something that sounds very much created in a computer software package like Reason which the likes of Prodigy and many many other contemporary artists use. There's elements of hip-hop, electronica and drum n bass in this loud and large track which is the highlight of the sampler. It brings to mind the more club orientated hits of Missy Elliot. It's not about much more than fun, which in this case is a good thing.
'My Machine' starts with a cool spoken introduction that's soon accompanied by a headnodding beat and a deep, dirty and sizzling baseline. The rhyming style is again loose and quite possibly inspired by the more intense works of the Def Jux label. There's a nice voice effect on some of this, like the one used on that shitty Cher tune. The topic is of the artist delving into the mouth of a character, who she then travels deep within where she discovers an illness she tries to patch up with a piece of gum.
'Artery' is probably most likely to get major radio airplay and the attention of the mass media. It's a really polished, loud and busy number with consise, in time and straight forward vocals which are easy to listen to and enjoy.
It's great to see an artist experimenting and trying to be as original as they can be. It's nice to hear Princess Superstar dabble across genre's and sounds because that ultimately is what she's best at, rather than sticking to rap music which she won't always gain respect from doing. It'll be good to see how the full album turns out. Although it certainly won't be a Deltron 3030, it looks like it will be a fun, hyperactive experience, that could quite possibly be all you hear from the cars speeding by you on the street.