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Big Grams, Big Grams (Epic Records)
CD Reviews: Oct 1, 2015

10/01/15
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Big Grams, Big Grams (Epic Records)

Prior to this five-songer, this trio (Outkast’s Big Boi and the boy-girl Phantogram pair) had already collaborated on a couple of tracks when Phantogram guested on Big’s Vicious Lies LP. But an extended hang-out session in L.A. helped the rapper see the real potential in recording an actual meeting of their minds instead of simply capitalizing on Phantogram’s beats and employing singer Sarah Barthel as a moll du jour. If you’re not familiar with Phantogram, you actually are, what with all the occasions when their spaghetti-indie Portishead-for-dummies “When I’m Small” single backgrounded whatever-odd corporate-media offering. Those two aren’t geniuses — a mopey, cut-rate Zero 7 at best — but yeah, sure, let’s see what happens when you add a real rapper (Barthel tries it herself on “Goldmine Junkie” with okay results). “Run For Your Life” opens the set with glitchy, woody chill, a nice effect that paints Big Boi as a rough-edged Tricky, that is until things get a little more animated (and pedestrian). “Lights Out” doesn’t fare as well, coming across as Evanescence trying to be weird, while the soul-ish “Fell In the Sun” is like Outkast trying to be weird. This is all timely for pop, yes (Skrillex and Run the Jewels guest here, mainly to drive home the fact that This Is Important), but equally unnecessary. B- 





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