Lyrics Born, 'As U Were' (Decon)

7
As U Were
Critical Mass
Release Date: October 25, 2010
Label: Decon

by Mosi Reeves

With each new release, former Solesides crew member Lyrics Born edges closer to becoming the West Coast Cee Lo, a onetime rap innovator now dedicated to the power of soul. While earlier albums like 2003's excellent Later That Day stayed in the P-Funk pocket, As U Were strains to incorporate electro into an ebullient mix of confessionals ("I've Lost Myself") and confidence boosters ("Oh Baby!"). Though he sounds slightly out of place on the screeching "Lies X 3," standouts "We Live by the Beat" and "Kontrol Phreak" impressively blend synth-funk and neo-new-wave glamour.

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