Panacea - The Scenic RouteRawkus Records
If you're like me, you look back at the mid-nineties as the golden age of hip-hop. This was a time where the music was at it's creative peak. There was such diversity that even the groups you didn't like, at least you respected them for what they brought to the table. When I listened to the Washington D.C. based duo Panacea's latest cd, it reminded me of the early days of the Native Tongues when they regularly put out quality work. The aptly named "The Scenic Route" their third disc, is a blissful ride of soulful grooves from start to finish. Producer Kyle Murdock does a masterful job of fusing jazz with funk and soul atmospheres. While Jason Moore takes the music to another level with his thought provoking and witty rhymes. On the track "Pops Said", Jason kicks rhymes of the some of the advice his pops imparted on him. "Square 1" is another banger that will have your heading nodding for sure. Raheem DeVaughn stops by to assist on "Flashback to Stardom". Raheem's falsetto fits in perfectly between Kyle Murdock's beat and Jason's Rhymes. "Katana" is has a lazy laidback groove accompanied by a soothing rhythm guitar throughout. Jason spits a rhyme about a girl that stays on his mind. "Drop me a line, you're all in my mind". Kyle has created a sound that is soulful and euphoric. I can't get enough of listening to this disc. The kind of hip-hop that springs positive vibes and takes your mind to other places. Having enjoyed their last release "Ink Is My Drink", I'm simply loving the "Scenic Route" I know you will too. Highly recommended.
Reg Dancy, 12/07