BY APRIL S. ENGRAM
With a christened name that proves as intriguing as his stage name, Ramble John Krohn, RJD2, returns with his fifth LP under this moniker after numerous collaborations, EPs and mixes. A creative producer and master of electronic beats he has a knack for weaving together disjointed beats with fluid sounds to create hip hop inspired dance tracks; a sampling of RJD2’s “A Beautiful Mine” is known to many as Mad Men’s theme song. More Is Than Isn’t dabbles in several genres; 70’s funk, 80’s R&B and rap, and hip hop instrumentals. Though there exists a similar thread within these styles having them live together on one album will either prove appealing or too large of a range for listeners. Nonetheless, of the 16 tracks on the album 7 of them feature vocalists while the rest are instrumentals…More Is Than Isn’t could’ve remained a lyric free album, it’s the most ear pleasing part of the release.
The singers prove lackluster, the rappers unoriginal and flat but RJ’s music is damn good. Perfect example is the song “See You Leave,” the track starts with slow keyboards and intermittent drum rolls before giving way to Nile Rodgers-esque guitar strumming, a great start, no? Then the rapping and poor lyricism begins. But instrumentals such as single “Her Majesty’s Socialist Request” and “Winter Isn’t Coming” are solid, creative and attack you with their charged energy. Even the minute long “Suites,” one through three, are all small orchestral numbers that could’ve lasted longer. More Is Than Isn’t balances vocals with lyricless tracks but at the heart of it all is RJD2’s strength in producing impressive music.
DOWNLOAD: “Winter Isn’t Coming,” “Tempermental”