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Odd Couple's "Chatterbox" Album is Simply Excellent

"Chatterbox" isn't flashy, it doesn't have any famous rappers, it's simply a great album you need to listen to.
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We interrupt your famous rapper broadcast for a very special announcement...

Listen to Odd Couple's Chatterbox project.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. At DJBooth, we go the extra mile to do dope shit. We’re done with wishy-washy, middle-of-the-pack, 40 degree day type posts. We want greatness. Internet glory. As a result it means getting a little more in-depth, finding new angles and stories on albums no one else had, and researching Lil Wayne Street Fighter references until my eyes bleed.

But even more importantly, at DJBooth we just love great music. That’s why I started visiting the site as a fan some seven years ago, and what's at the core of everything we do. So sometimes, even though there's certainly some story out there you could write about Kanye or Drake or [insert famous rapper name here] you just have to say, “fuck followers and pageviews” and share good music for the sake of sharing good music. Today is one of those times.

Enter Odd Couple.

If you know anything about me it’s that I eat Chipotle daily love producers. Beats are the heartbeat, the soul, of the music I love and the vocals are tied to them. You can put a wack rapper on a dope beat and I can deal, but put a great rapper on a boring, bland beat and it’s over. Given my love for production, I made it a point to check out the new album from Chicago producer Odd Couple, Chatterbox.

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Most producer albums are different from normal albums. Often times the recording quality, guest spots, and structure of the album leave room for improvement, more aimed at getting across a producer's overall sound than delivering a larger artistic message. Chatterbox is not one of those typical producer-projects. I went in expecting to hear some great instrumentals, maybe some dope rhymes and not much more, but I came out stunned. Shocked. Giddy.

This ain't your momma's beat tape. This is a full-fledged album, one where you can take out individual songs for a playlist play from start to finish. The progression, pacing and sequencing is perfect. One minute you have a song like “Glass Up” (a standout), featuring an ambient, chiming beat and though it’s followed the guitar driven “LightShow,” which oozes a remarkably different vibe, the transition is seamless. Even the songs themselves ebb and flow, demonstrating, Odd Couple’s  attention to detail and depth. Take “Talkin’ Like That,” my personal favorite track off the project. One minute you have (Surf contributor) Mike Golden’s vibrant vocals and the next you have Dally Auston’s blunted, raspy flow, which then flows into an instrumental section before The O’My’s frontman Maceo Haymes leaves his fingerprints. Still the best part is the ending. I know that sounds like a bad thing, but when you take a listen to the way the track ends, going from a culminating instrumental into a minimalist, airy backdrop, driven by a plodding bassline and a simple yet poignant guitar riff, the track closes with a real kick. I could feel my heart beating from the excitement of how vibrant and busy the song was. To make that transition in such a short time really speaks to Odd Couple's attention to detail and though “Talking Like That” is just one song it’s a microcosm for the album as a whole.

How is he able to do it? How is he able to bring together so many different, talented artists - Allan Kingdom, The O’My’s, Alex Wiley, Saba, Kweku Collins, Taylor Bennett and so many others - and not have the album feel too feature-heavy? His heart. Above all else, this album has personality and heart. Music is fun, it makes us smile, it makes us happy, but Chatterbox reaches you on a deeper level. It made me feel good about life in a way most other albums simply can't. I wish I could better explain the interesting blend of sentimental and happy, but sometimes things are just beyond words, that’s kind of the magic of this album. It’s not so much the notes, beats or instrumentals but the emotions and intentions of the people behind them that makes Chatterbox a winner. I may not be able to put it into words, but take a listen to Chatterbox and you’ll know exactly what I mean. You'll feel it. 

So we’ll get back the reviews of huge albums, the insanely detailed investigations and big times interviews shortly, but it’s crucial we continue to make time for sharing good music for the sake of sharing good music. Case in point, Chatterbox.

Now back to your regularly scheduled famous rapper programming.

[Lucas Garrison is a writer for DJBooth.net. His favorite album is “College Dropout,” but you can also tweet him your favorite Migos songs at @LucasDJBooth.]

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