Glue Seconds Away

[Ramona; 2004]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: underground hip-hop
Others: Non-Prophets, Them Badd Apples, Dorian Three

Most people probably aren't familiar with the group known collectively as Glue, but I'm willing to bet most know the individuals who make up the group. Consisting of rapper ADeeM, producer Maker, and DJ DQ, Glue is a culmination of talents within the hip-hop field. ADeeM, most known for being a Scribble Jam champion, has come a long way from his initial tape release, The First Few Inches. Maker has slowly become one of the most celebrated producers around, and DJ DQ isn't too shabby with his craft either. Seconds Away is the group's first complete release, and the trio seems to be on the right track.

Although the vision seems extremely bright and clear, there is somewhat of kink in Glue's system. Some critics find flaw in ADeeM's voice and claim he has an annoying delivery. I don't necessarily agree with this accusation, and it's quite obvious that ADeeM's flow and breath control are exceptional. My main complaint has to do with the content. The whole naval-gazing trend in independent hip-hop has been chugging forward for a while now. It seems every other rapper is being "emotionally" open, hurling their problems and self-evaluations on the listener. It's hard to find an emcee that doesn't suffer from the "I" syndrome throughout an entire album. ADeeM proves to be the epitome of this song-writing style on Seconds Away, and by the end of the album, you feel overwhelmed with his personal troubles.

These songs of heartbreak and confusion would be easier to swallow if the album wasn't sprinkled with more upbeat songs. The album loses its cohesion when one song is all seriousness and then the song right after is about a "pimped-out Honda Civic" adventure. The light-hearted and comedic turns, though few in number, seem out of place on the album.

The undisputed triumph of the album is Maker's production. The Chicago-based producer has no qualms about showboating his array of breaks, eloquently layered with horns, woodwinds, and pianos. Maker's greatest skill is his ability to create a mood. Seconds Away could easily stand as an acclaimed instrumental album. DQ lends his turntable stabs, usually at the conclusion of the songs, providing a nice wind down for the listener after ADeeM's fury. Glue seems like a proper fit for these three adjunct artists.

1. And the Spider Sung
2. Goodbye
3. Winners Never Sleep
4. No Helping
5. Lullaby For the Sun
6. Sock Drawer Blues
7. Hand In the Sea
8. Elbow Room
9. Jump In Lilly
10. Mixing Excuses
11. Fighting Ends
12. Sober Window Story
13. Seconds Away
14. 1970
15. Country Funk
16. John Kimball
17. Play Her Piano
18. Haunt