On his second LP, one of dubstep’s forefathers, the British producer Rusko, provides a fourteen track compendium, aptly titled Songs. In interviews Rusko has mentioned wanting to move away from the monster of brostep that helped spawn. On Songs he manages, mostly successfully, to avoid the screeching mid-high range basses that populate many dubstep songs while still delivering a relatively solid collection of songs. The album starts off strong, tracks like “Somebody To Love” and “Pressure” are highlights of the album and they exert a DnB feel more than a dubstep one, which works well to signify Rusko’s change in direction. The funky synth in ‘Pressure’ is an especially nice production touch. Unfortunately the album takes a turn for the mundane, the songs from ‘Skanker’ through ‘Be Free’ are all simply average or worse, with the low point being Opium. Opium is a pretty shitty song to be perfectly honest, the bass is not up to the high standards Rusko should be held to. The verses in ‘Opium’ are all fine, but the dubstep sections sound as if someone took his excellent ‘Bionic Commando’ and hollowed it out and removed any traces of melody. Thankfully the album is much stronger following ‘Be Free’ with ‘Thunder’ ‘Roll Da Beatz’ ‘Asda Car Park’ and especially ‘M357’. Rusko utilizes dancehall vocals best on Roll Da Beatz and brings some heavy bass on Asda Car Park, while Thunder is a very solid if unspectacular pop song. The album undoubtedly saves its best song for last, in M357. This song is surprising, in that Rusko does not implement his signature wobbles. Instead, the song drops with a deep, low bass. Its pulsating synth line, soft vocals, and melancholy piano complement the bass well. That being said, if the entire album was in the same style as “M357,” it would make for a tiresome experience.
Verdict – 6.5
-Amos and Elias