Depth in Shallows
On his third album, Proseed may have his most cohesively fulfilling project. His at-times unorthodox rhyme scheme channels MCs like Pharoahe Monch, while the subject matter fits the mold of Rhymesayers Records. He mines personal experience, as expressed in the love story told on "Real Security." Germany's Ulliversal handles the production, shining on "Communication Problems," on which a hypnotic sample blends with standard boom-bap percussion, and also on "My Sweet Valentine," that offers swords clashing underneath an infectious violin and vocal samples.
— Rory D. Webb
PROSEED CD RELEASE. 9:30 p.m. Smiling Moose, 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $7. 412-431-4668 or www.smiling-moose.net
Songs for the Phonophobic
Nine new tracks from the Pittsburgh-born and Duquesne-educated musician, now living in New York state. Davis is an in-demand studio songwriter and musician, cutting tracks for TV and such. On this album, he displays his chops and his versatility, though he doesn't necessarily reveal a lot of focus. Each track has a personality of its own, drawing from punk rock, grunge, classic rock, even a little bit of electronic music; it's impressive playing and writing, but most of us want a little more cohesion if we're going to listen to a record all the way though.
— Andy Mulkerin
Songs From the Mon Valley
Despite the silly name and general aesthetic, and principal Steve Pellegrino's penchant for pranksterism, this one includes some serious, and some seriously interesting, music. It begins with a full-ensemble title track with shades of Satie, and works through an a cappella deep-voiced (throat-singing?) track, and some accordion-and-voice material. Cool sax stuff in between; a worthwhile pickup for those into jazz and the avant-garde.
— Andy Mulkerin