Phoenix has a hot hip-hop scene, so to say that The Premiere's debut album is the best new local CD to hit P-city streets this year is really saying something. And we are saying just that. Three years in the making, London Paris New York is a monster mash-up of rap, rock, and New Wave, with enough tracks (19) for a double album. Musically, everything's laid over a popping backbeat, but lyrical flows alternate with soulful vocal harmonies, electric guitars, synthesizers, and jazzy samples. Tracks like "Across the Sea," "Disease," and "Line Out" have a distinct New Wave flavor, as pulsing synthesizers wind around electro beats and Cure-like choruses. Other songs draw from so many different styles that they can't be described without oxymorons. Case in point: "Shot 'Em Done," which sounds like a troubador/flamenco-folk/rockabilly-reggae number, as it might be performed by Tenacious D. Despite the schizophrenic feel of the album (or maybe because of it), the CD's full of standout tracks like "Psychadelphia," which is driven by some swaggering blues saxophone samples, and "Patrick Swayze," a fierce jam that opens with the declaration "Don't call me Jay-Z, 'cause I'm Suh-waaay-zeee!" and closes with the lines, "I'm fucking crazy/Smoke crack cocaine-zee/just blunt me up and blaze me." The members of The Premiere, David Jackman and Adam Wilkey, really know how to spit wit. Check out these lines from "Golden Gate Bridge": "I'm a desperado/sippin' on a bottle/I'm in Arizona/reminiscent of Ohio . . . writin' with the Sharpie/Think I'm finished? Hardly/'Cause I'm afraid I'm crazier than Gnarls Barkley." Local station KWSS-FM 106.7 has put The Premiere in regular rotation, and we wouldn't be surprised if some national stations follow suit once they get a whiff of this.
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