Jurassic 5 is one of the few true
“indy” artists on a major label these days. After getting scooped up
by Interscope after their critically
acclaimed self-titled EP (or LP, depending on where you’re from), they’ve
released a pair of excellent albums over the last 5 years. Although they’ve
been jocked to no end for their retrofit “keep-it-real” brand of Hip Hop, more
than a few have questioned what exactly the LA crew is doing to elevate the art
form.

Don’t be
fooled, while they may use the Cold
Crush
for inspiration, it isn’t like you’d mistake their music for being
two decades old. Their major debut (Quality
Control
) defined their true school sound but they took a noticeable turn
with their follow up (Power In Numbers).
Less harmonizing, beats a bit darker, not quite as “happy.” It seemed
as though they listened to their critics.

Feedback is perhaps a tongue-in-cheek title
as it seems as though they stopped listening to any feedback. This LP finds the
now legit 5 (sans DJ/producer Cut
Chemist
) returning to form with 80’s inspired, new millenium Hip Hop. There
are a handful of cuts on the album that leave no doubt where J5 draws their inspiration; the Crash Crew-inspired “Radio” and the
funky ass “In The House” are on some pure throwback shit. The rest of the album
splits between that classic Jurassic
sound and songs which Gang Starr
would call updating their formulas. Falling under the first category would the
album’s opener “Back 4 You” with its “Concrete Schoolyard” feel, “Where We At”
and the dope Dave Matthews-assisted
single “Work It Out.”

Where they
really knock it out the park is when they expand their sound a bit while
maintaining their unmistakable vibe. The driving “Get It Together” is likely
the best track on this LP, and is different from anything they’ve done to this
point. The ladies fuel a pair of standout songs in “Baby Please” and the Scott Storch-produced “Brown Girl.”
While the first (most notable for their bounce deliveries), is some real slick
shit, Storch’s infectious number
could easily blow up the airwaves.

Many had
their concerns about this LP with the uber-talented Cut Chemist out going for dolo, but Nu-Mark didn’t miss a step holding down the show by himself. J5 remains one of the most consistent,
and best, groups out here. Regardless of what you classify them, old school,
true school, or if you feel they are just stuck in the past, it really doesn’t
matter. This is about the music, and the music is damn good.