Darrell Ford
staff writer
November 24, 2005
Buy it at Insound!
Amazon:
Flo'Ology Flo'Ology
November 8, 2005
Geffen Records
Floetic Floetic
October 1, 2002
Dreamworks
Floacism (with Bonus DVD) Floacism (with Bonus DVD)
November 18, 2003
Dreamworks
Floetic Floetic
January 27, 2003
Universal
Flo'ology Flo'ology
November 17, 2005
Universal
More Recent Album Reviews:
Chk Chk Chk
Ahab Rex
Alias & Tarsier
Arrah & the Ferns
Beach House
Beastie Boys
Black Lips
Brand New
Consequence
Copeland
Dat'r
Deer Tick
Deerhoof
Dirty on Purpose
Dntel
Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton
Fall Out Boy
Feist
Forgive Durden
Grinderman
Harley Poe
Isobel Campbell
Ladyhawk
Loch Lomond
Love Arcade
Menomena
Modest Mouse
Mohair
My Chemical Romance
Novi Split
Rufus Wainwright
Scissor Sisters
Scott Walker
Sean Lennon
Sonic Youth
Spoon
St. Vincent
Straylight Run
Supreeme
Tech N9ne
Tegan and Sara
The Decemberists
The Good The Bad and The Queen
The Killing Moon
The Polyphonic Spree
The Rosebuds
The Shins
The Used
Under the Influence of Giants
Unkle
Recent Soapbox:
Recent Live Reviews:
Recent Interviews:
Sponsored Advertising
Rock Music Reviews
Floetry
Flo'Ology

Whenever I hear a Brit performing hip hop, I can't help but wonder if the culture is truly so different from American hip hop. Everything they touch seems to turn to gold, or else I only hear about them when they make someoneís end of the year Top Ten list. Mike Skinner (The Streets), MF Doom, and Dizzee Rascal all made their way onto my radar near the end of the last three years, and Iíve been more than thrilled. And that was to say nothing of Tricky, a duo (emcee and songstress) that produced some of the best music-to-make-love-to-your-old-lady-by from the 1990 side of Lovage.

When I first heard of Floetry around Christmas of 2002, I was expecting something similar to Tricky based solely on the presence of similar elements. The emcee (floacist) Natalie Stewart and songstress Marsha Ambrosius donít mimic the presentation of Tricky, but they did manage to evoke some of that same passion with most of the songs on Floetic. Flo'Ology offers some of the same elements but the duo displays a little more maturity than they did on Floetic.

Floetry bends Stewart's spoken words and flows towards soul, where her breathy whisper compliments Ambrosius even better than it did on the last album. They even bring Common into the act on "SupaStar," a track with an uptempo hip hop sound. The rest of the album, though, is better simply because Floetry had reached the point where the two sound like more than the sum of their parts.

Songs like "Lay Down" highlight confidence, where a sparse beat gives way to the power of Ambrosius as the driving force. Stewart pulls off an impressive Michael McCary-style (Boyz II Men) spoken word confessional without sounding like sheís trying. "I Want You" and "Let Me In" seem to be built for the bedroom, as much for the bending of voices towards each other as for the actual lyrics. On other tracks ("I'll Die," for example) features that same soft presentation but with smoother and speedier flows. The soul aspect of the album frequently overpowers her rapping, but Stewart sounds nonetheless more comfortable in her own skin. The duo seems to have found the right balance for the mic, but, perhaps due to the conventions that drive most love songs, repetition seems to prevent the duo from sharing as much of themselves as they seem poised to.

Release date: November 8, 2005
Label: Geffen
Rating: 6.0 / 10

On the web: http://www.floetry.net
[RMR]