It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these, and I’m not sure if I want to stick to the previous format, so we’ll see how it goes, I suppose! Today, I follow-up on yesterday’s entry on The Exception with a review of his upcoming mini-album, Don’t Call Me A Rapper, which releases this December 3rd! That’s in exactly a week now, folks! Now, without further ado, the review!
My Top 3: Take It Or Leave It, Court of Law, and Runner.
Pre-Order Link: ORDER YOUR COPY IN ADVANCE TODAY!!!!
Previous Albums (in reverse chronological order): F.A.M.E., Here To Stay, Wake Up Call, and No Excuses.
Given our history together, I can see where people might call me biased; however, I have given this album a fair listen and have compared it to tracks The Exception has released previously. Admittedly, there are a few tracks I liked more than others, but overall I think this is a pretty solid album. I find it uncommon—if not rare—to find an album I don’t mind listening the entire way through for multiple sittings. I think this is one of those albums.
Some of the tracks you will be able to find on his website, at exceptionmusic.com. Others, of course, you will have to wait for. You can trust that it will be worth the wait.
When I review music albums, I like to break things down by track, so that’s exactly what I’m about to do here. Right after giving my opinion of each song, I will provide a list of a few select tracks from The Exception’s previous albums that I think go well with the new numbers, which is basically my guess that if you liked one or more of those songs, chances are you will probably like the new one too.
So funny enough, this was not the first song I listened to off this new album, though it is the first one in this album. Some time ago, The Exception actually sent me a copy of “Rounds” to listen to. At that time, I had no idea he planned to place it on this upcoming album. That said, I can say that he made a good choice making this song first in the lineup.
On first listen, what immediately caught me was the beat. It’s catchy, and it definitely has you anticipating what The Exception has got to say. I can see this one being perfect for a night drive with the windows down and bass maxed out in the car. My favorite part would have to be the hook. For the most part, The Exception’s hooks stand out quite clearly in his music. If that’s what you love about his music, I think it’s safe to say that you won’t be disappointed here.
“Court of Law”
Again, another catchy song. The auto-tune is very apparent here, and it’s an intentional decision. The start of the track immediately made me think of Common’s music video for “Testify.” This track seems to be channeling and blending somewhat the rapping and lyrical styles of Eminem and Kanye West. Not a bad blend though, if I do say so myself.
Related Tracks: “Showtime” (Here To Stay), “No Excuses” (No Excuses), “About To Shine” (No Excuses)
“Rounds” – [Listen Now]
I think this track would be a lot of fun in a club setting. It’s definitely got more of a mainstream feel to it than The Exception’s usual work, but it still has the witty wordplay that fans should be familiar with by now.
As he shared in his interview, The Exception doesn’t like to necessarily confine himself to a specific genre or style to his flow. This one definitely has more of a rock influence to it. It can be easy to miss on the first listen, but he definitely sticks true to his storytelling ways on this track—one thing I’ve come to appreciate about The Exception is that even after all this time, his lyrics give me the sense that he still makes an effort to give his music enough substance to be memorable against other songs out there. Some tracks are stronger than others in this way, of course, but overall I find that I’m rarely disappointed with his work.
Related Tracks: “Real As They Come” (Wake Up Call), “Footsteps” (No Excuses)
“I Love You” – [Listen Now]
I can picture this being the perfect track to play during the summertime, probably on the way on the beach. I can also see it being a great concert number to pump up the fans. I think I’d have to say the only disappointing thing about this track would have to be that it seems to end way too quickly compared to other tracks on this album. That’s okay though—that’s what the repeat button is for.
Related Tracks: “Friends With Benefits” (F.A.M.E.), “Heartache” (F.A.M.E.), “Last Night” (Here To Stay), “Another Day, Another Dollar” (Here To Stay), “When It All Comes Down” feat. Chris Ray (Wake Up Call)
My favorite songs by The Exception would have to be ones with the perfect blend of beat, lyrics, and storytelling. I think this track hits bulls-eye on all counts. I really appreciate the smooth feel to the overall sound of this track. There’s a reason why this made it into my top three. If you enjoy listening to Macklemore, you’ll probably like this track a lot.
Related Tracks: “New Year, Same Me” (F.A.M.E.), “Miles Away” feat. Maribeth (F.A.M.E.), “That’s What I Call Love” feat. Maribeth (F.A.M.E.), “I Never Made It” feat. Ashleigh Munn (F.A.M.E.), “Frozen” (Here To Stay & No Excuses), “Fly Away” (No Excuses), “Living My Dreams” (No Excuses)
“Take It Or Leave It”
This is definitely my most favorite track on this album. I think it is also the most lyrically strong. Parts of it remind me of everything I love about Linkin’ Park and Hollywood Undead. I also appreciate that this sounds quite different from most of his previously recorded music. It’s always nice to see artists with diversity in their sound. The only criticism I have here would be that the chorus sounds a little off-key at points.
“Wife That Chick” – [Listen Now]
Another song that I would say is perfect to play as a summertime track. It’s different from “I Love You” though, in that it’s got a slower rhythm. One of his more mainstream-sounding tracks, this goes well with his earlier track, “Rounds.”
Related Tracks: “We On (Remix)” (Here To Stay), “We On” feat. M. Carter & Mooky (Wake Up Call), “Get Through It” (Wake Up Call), “Worth My Time” (Wake Up Call), “Best Friend” (No Excuses), “Party All The Time” (No Excuses)
So to buy or not to buy? Ultimately the decision is an individual one, but, if you are a huge fan of The Exception and you like what you hear of the tracks he has up on his website from the upcoming album, then I’d say why wait? Order your copy today!