With The Colossus, producer RJD2 comes with a surprisingly funky, warm twist to his ever-changing trajectory. A significant improvement on his disappointing third solo effort, The Third Hand, RJ brings us back home, replacing the cold detachment of his prior two albums with familiar fun.
However, RJ falls short of the unity and flawlessness of his first album, Deadringer. A problem throughout his recent career, RJ again fails to successfully incorporate vocals. Emphasizing singing, The Colossus includes both his own vocals and that of featured artists such as Phonte Coleman and Kenna.
The Colossus owes its originality to interwoven synth lines and masterful horn arrangements, exemplified by the opening track "Let There Be Horns" as well as "Crumbs off the Table."
If he started his career off as a hip-hop producer, RJD2 has emerged from electronic and pop/rock phases to land in a sort of blend of the three.
RJD@ will perform April 11, 2010 at Neumos in Seattle.
Jack Baars is the production director at KUPS 90.1 FM based out of the University of Puget Sound.