The Gathering

The Gathering

by The Living LegendsThe Living Legends


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This seven-track CD titled The Gathering has an intuitive drive and some controlled power that makes it appealing on many levels. Thirty-two minutes and three seconds total time harkens back to the days when vinyl LPs held 15 minutes per side and, for a prolific bunch like the Living Legends, the audience might feel a bit slighted...though others may consider that the rappers are putting a heavier emphasis on this septet of sound essays than overloading the CD. The title track has an eerie keyboard juxtaposed against a solid beat and percussive sounds; it's the second longest piece on the disc, dips into Richard Matheson territory with a nod to I Am Legend, and is a good way to kick things off: with a nice bang. "She Wants Me" follows with a hypnotic variety of sparse sounds under the narrative flowing into a killer chorus about a drugged-out, psychotic, bisexual girlfriend the protagonist met on Myspace. It's territory Willie "Loco" Alexander covered in the '70s with a similarly titled song MCA refused to release on the second Boom Boom Band LP, "Nazi Nola (She Wanted Me)," the stretch from heavy punk/R&B to R&B
ap not as far thematically as one might think. It's the rhythm & blues that is the common denominator with more misogyny infiltrating the funky "Pants on Fire," each track needing a parental guidance sticker, none of these gents shy in the least. "War and Peace" has a slinky Parliament/Funkadelic guitar line that drifts under the verses which give in to a chant of "If you want to make war end you gotta start with peace...," a heavy vocal chorus of "war" à la Edwin Starr's classic 1970 hit the frosting on the cake. "Luva Changer" is even heavier funk/R&B with Stevie Wonder overtones pulled from the eternal soul textbook Songs in the Key of Life. While there's no direct lift of a famous hook such as Luckyiam's sample of Three Dog Night's "Easy to Be Hard" titled "Cruel" on his Myspace page, there are tons of nods to musical pieces strewn throughout The Gathering, the two-minute-and-forty-three-second "Samba" an interesting diversion before the tour de force final track. "After Hours [Extended Euro Mix]," the grand finale, is almost like a rap version of Lou Reed's "Coney Island Baby," a narrative that goes on for almost eight-and-a-half minutes and even fades out à la Reed as when Lou spoke directly to drag queen Rachel on his 1976 epic. Here Living Legends update that '70s classic with: "I want to give a shout out to Baby Rio, to Andy Kahn and all the hipsters...that shirt cost $60.00 that you just spilt Katsup on it's really limited edition..." The rant veers off into a few other similar raps from Armand Schaubroeck's 1978 nod to Lou Reed's Street Hassle, the exquisitely decadent Ratfucker. The Legends continue to admonish the listener: "You shouldn't do drugs that are harder than you...(expletive, expletive, expletive) about you have a mind of your own man...if you're downloading this for free you're never going to get (expletive) again..." The keys and horns are a perfect blend of jazz and pop while the chorus pulls in some of the charm the group War utilized on songs like "Why Can't We Be Friends..." Though the Living Legends didn't invent a good time, this ever growing bunch certainly know how to perpetuate it and prove it on The Gathering.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/08/2008
Label: Legendary Music
UPC: 0693405006243
catalogNumber: 50023
Rank: 134428

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