RATING: 3 CHET BAKERS
Unwrapped Volume 4 was released in 2005 marking four straight years of Hidden Beach's Jazzy hip hop project. The first three were very strong and consistent throughout and the fourth entry is no different.
Once again they've highlighted some classic hip hop tracks from the 90's (Hip Hop Hooray, Put your Hands where my Eyes can See, Treat em Right) and the 2000's (21 Questions, All Falls Down, Lean Back, Hate it or Love it). However this time they went back a little farther and mined some gold from the 80's such as Children's Story and Rollin' with Kid N' Play.
This is another solid release, although it doesn't really have the same impact that the first two did on me. The first two albums were dynamite and were near perfect. The third one was very good in it's own right.
This one is good as well, but you sense a decline over the course of the four. Whether that's just a situation of perhaps running out of solid songs to choose from or what, I don't know. Out of the first four, while I enjoy this one a lot, it's not the one I listen to the most. That's the first one.
Not to say this isn't a worthy listen or buy, because it is. Children's story is a lively and wholly entertaining track, with Mike Logan's piano solo and Richard Patterson's Bass solo being highlights.
Candy Shop has a nice little scattting and piano solo by Richard Turner Jr. that's a definite plus as it's certainly not something you hear everyday in today's music.
The always reliable Karen Briggs (Violin) pairs up with Donald Hayes (Sax) for a fantastic rendition of Hate it or Love it.
As always, Hidden Beach Unwrapped comes correct with some smoothed out jazz versions of your favorite hip hop songs. This isn't something that you can really go wrong with, and their collections are pretty much good for any type of party you may be throwing. As always, below is the snippet sampler. If you like what you hear, I encourage you to click the link that takes you to Hidden Beach's website and you can buy any of the Unwrapped's, as well as some of their other albums by artists like Jill Scott, Mike Phillips or Kindred The Family Soul.