J. Pinder’s “Careless Redux,” a mixtape presented by DJ Skee, is a great opportunity for the Seattle rapper to gain a much wider exposure to a national audience. The mixtape, which follows on the heels of Fin Records’ release of his debut album “Careless,” is a reworking of the core of that debut release with several other tracks included. Over the course of 42 minutes, J. Pinder shows the world what he’s capable of with a well-paced mixtape supported by underground hip-hop heavyweight tastemaker DJ Skee. Based upon this mixtape there is no doubt that Pinder has the game to make it to the big show, but it remains to be seen whether he’s got the stuff to make a good record.
J. Pinder is an industry ready rapper with a decent flow and workable lyrics, but needs more personality. Both his lyrics and his delivery lack uniqueness. There are only few punch lines or rewind worthy moments. He’s an aspiring storyteller, but following the plot is difficult if you can’t get into it. The disappointing thing is he’s capable of better. Pinder can even be a bit cosmic, as evidenced by the too few moments in standout tracks like “Clouds” or “Illuminate.” Every time I like a verse, it’s undermined by something terrible in the hooks. They are the mixtape’s largest failing. I don’t need to hear J. Pinder and most of the guests singing trite, overly produced, typical R&B choruses with the notable exception of Choklate. The fomula is boring and flawed. “Some Kinda Star” is the worst kind of garbage I could ask to never hear again because of its wimpy, techno rock over bubble gum urban hooks.
The highlight of this album is the mid-tempo grooves and beats. The sound is professionally produced, and the production jumped out immediately. Sometimes, there’s a burble of grit in the mixtape vibe supplied by DJ Vega, be it the flange, the scratches that sound a little above the mix, a beat stutter, a pause button, an air horn or three, or a bubbling transposed beat. It clips along from song to song quickly and effortlessly, so something new is always right there.
The mixtape-as-a-commercial needs to stop. “Careless Redux” is a product that exists to promote “Careless,” J. Pinder, DJ Skee’s mixtapes, Skee’s ability to market up and coming artists, and Skee’s name in general. Between the tracks, Skee drops his name and such generic hype for Pinder that it makes one wonder if Skee ever listened to the record at all. It is as authentic as a used car salesman and works as good as a commercial within a commercial. Those that find comfortable and pleasure in music that is ready made for mass consumption, may enjoy J. Pinder’s “Careless Redux,” while others that want something more challenging and personal, could care less. 2 out of 5.
The words expressed in this album review are those of Darren Selector and not of Daniel Belles. Selector is Juice Radio at www.gojuiceradio.com‘s official album reviewer and is a music fan of all genres appreciating artists that don’t follow a mainstream vibe embracing creativity . He also co-hosts the alternative Come Down Wake Up on the station every Sunday morning at 8 am Pacific time. To have Darren review your album contact him at email@example.com.