Reviewed by Chase Hoffberger, Fri., Jan. 23, 2009
ParadoxCalled to Mind (End of Earth)
This also happened to the Beastie Boys on Hello Nasty. They found a rhyme scheme that sounded fresh over 32 bars and fashioned a whole album around it. On Called to Mind, Paradox's inability to switch the game up is the Austin rapper's Achilles' heel. Fortunately, he's set himself with a solid support system. Over smooth, funked-up beats, provided albumwide almost exclusively by Portland, Ore.'s Elliot B., Paradox flows hardest on "Broken" home upbringings and gets in tune with Atmosphere's school of thought: "This is for everyone whose life is either partially or fully comprised of contradictions" ("Put 'Em Together"). Paradox's rhythmic shortcoming is additionally crutched by a slew of guest MCs offering fresh looks to seven of the 15 tracks. Notably, it's speedster Jeremiah Bonds' frantic eight bars that balance "Life of an Artist" and the grim 'n' gruff Metermaids' previously unfounded "glimpse of the struggle" augmenting "Snapshots."