Plant the Seed (Word Power)
Reviewed by Chase Hoffberger, Fri., Jan. 22, 2010
Arson OpticsPlant the Seed (Word Power)
Raised in West Lake but born in Pittsburgh, Pa., and currently operating out of Los Angeles, Arson Optics (né Aaron Krueger) fell in with locals Mirage and the Melodicscience crew at age 16 and – with the exception of 2008's decidedly Houstonian Lion Heart and collaborations with candy painter Cory Mo – has rarely strayed from the 78723 style. On the self-produced Plant the Seed, AO incorporates a heavy dose of instrumental soul samples ("Reach Out," "Hold Your Ground," "Eye of the Beholder") with his Chamillionaire-style flow, mixing blunted ballads including "Playin in the Clouds" with the one-man playground hustle of "Tell Me How You Like It" ("All those that follow show time like Apollo"). ATX dark horse KaiZen's laid-back stylings set the bar on the slumming "On That Corner," but Optics has done plenty to Plant the Seed on solid soil.