MC Envy - Do Not Approach These People
Owain Paciuszko 28/05/2009
On opening track Please Don't Cry there seems to be a lot of soul baring from MC Envy as he goes through a list of apologies, starting with his mother, through to his sister and brother, and a number of references to drug abuse and such like. It's a very suprising and sincere start to this record, that, if it weren't for the slightly cliched production, would have been a real shock - in a positive sense.
Things fare better with the piano line that intros I Am What I Am (even if the title does bring on memories of the Robin William's starring live-action Popeye movie), the track itself has a nice beat and a good riff whilst Envy shows that he's a competent rapper. Man in the Mirror has a memorable chorus, sung by occasional collaborator X-Rated, but lyrically it's a touch vanilla, lacking a certain spark. When another piano intro strikes up on Have You Ever it seems that Envy is running out of new ideas fast, and lyrics like; 'Have you ever sat alone thinking about what's going on with the world...' don't inspire much confidence either. From a production point of view things at least sound crisp and shiny, if, occasionally, a little too much so; prompting awkward memories of chart-bound rap-pop acts.
A cry of 'This is how we do it!' at the start of I Didn't Mean prompts a worrying flash of a Backstreet Boys cross-over, but fortunately - or not, I can't decide - things don't go that way. There are other familiar moments across the rest of this record, with everything remaining in that inoffensive bracket that probably won't win Envy any fans or - even - detractors.
I guess the best thing I can ultimately say about this record is that it's not as bad as I was expecting from the rather naff cover art, however it lacks a certain sense of self-awareness or a real spark of originality that elevates it beyond 'meh'.
N.B. I have just found out that MC Envy has since changed his moniker to E.N.V.