Oak Cliff rapper and producer Dustin Cavazos' 2010 full-length, I Think In The Shower, I Dream On My Bike, was pegged as an honest reflection of his adolescence and a personal take on overcoming adversity. His follow-up LP, Be.Leave.Me, doesn't stray far from that vulnerability. This time around, his confessional prose is injected over melodic synths, hip-hop beats and hooky rock melodies.
But though Cavazos remains unabashed with the transparent lyrical content he spews atop his soundscapes, this latest effort falls rather flat. Opening track "Hallelujah (Gloria Dios)" opens with Cavazos' familiar synths — think Julee Cruise's "Falling," better known as the Twin Peaks intro song — but the airy attempt is short-lived. Not 20 seconds later, the tone is broken by sharp, electronic tones, losing the intriguing direction in which it was initially headed.
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Overall, each track on the album is delivered with high enough intensity, and the album walks a fine line between genuine reflection and self-indulgence, albeit in a hopeful tone. The peak of such hope is clear in "We've Already Met," full of encouraging chants, tinkering piano and a soaring guitar solo. Problem is, as with most of the album, the song mostly sounds like it belongs in a praise and worship jam session.