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Just before the release the Nextmen's second LP, Get Over It, Brad (one half of the Nextmen) said 'We've never made just one type of music, but in future it will be even harder to pigeonhole us'. This Was Supposed To Be The Future, is the third album by the Nextmen. And maybe from Brad's comments, we should be calling in the Doc and Marty. The future has arrived.
There's a wide selection of styles and influences crammed into this well thought-out record. It starts with 'Let It Roll', a funky number with a groovy trumpet solo and smooth vocals to get us in the mood. 'Blood Fire' is a dancehall influenced floor-filler and allows Dynamite MC to demonstrate his lyrical skills. The dancehall vibe resurfaces with 'Concentrate' & Piece Of The Pie'. It's a sound they are comfortable with.
The more raw UK hip hop sound comes from 'Camera Tricks', 'Knowledge Be Born' is reminiscent of hip hop from across the pond. 'Let It Be' is reggae through and through and the attempt at a housey groove comes from 'Memory Lane'.
'The Drop' stands out due to its groove and luscious vocals. 'Something You Got' is smooth, as is 'Tuffen Up'. Along with 'Did No Wrong', 'Move' and the title track, these tunes can loosely be placed together into the category that would exist if Bugz In The Attic and Turin Breaks had a drunken night together. Uncanny.
The strength with this LP lies in the strong production and variety, ensuring depth to the final product. This is an album that may even suffer from the modern download culture, in which downloading two or three of the recommended tracks is acceptable. It's a record that's complete, a journey within itself. It flows nicely and even where some tracks are stronger than others, they still stand firm on the tracklist for the overall benefit of the LP.
It's not a raw UK hip hop album, it's a musically intelligent collection of well produced and varied modern R&B that has the rare quality of being both soulful and complete. --Alex Kenning
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