Album Review: Playdough ‘Writer Dye: Deux or Die’

Playdough – Writer Dye Deux or Die

“These people come her tonight to hear some real rap… am I right everybody?” a screechy sounding voice starts off the new Playdough album  ‘Writer Dye: Deux or Die’…

I loved Playdough’s last release ‘Hotdoggin’ a lot, I loved the word play, the mix between the beats the musical hooks were genius… and then I heard that Playdough was going to releasing another of his ‘Writer Dye’ albums and I was a little disappointed… “Oh no has Playdough run out of ideas just when he seemed to be hitting his straps?”
The album concept didn’t sell me either… it was Playdough reimagining lyrics from iconic songs of multiple genres and molding them into entirely different songs.
I immediately had visions of Wyclef Jean or Vanilla Ice ruining a great Queen bass line or even a whole song.

However…

There is a reason Playdough is able to live up to his moniker as “The Greatest Emcee in the World” – because he takes all sorts of music and mixes them into something that sounds totally new but strangely familiar all at the same time.
If you had heard ANY of Playdough albums before you would know that he’s got a great ear for an awesome hook… and also how to use it well… he would find hooks in the most craziest places… and for ‘Deux or Die’ it’s no different… Playdough is throwing hooks and lyrics and lines from Bob Dylan, Coldplay, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash, Queen, Modest Mouse, Digable Planets, The Beatles, Bon Iver, The Strokes and the list just keeps going… and he does it so well that most the time you don’t even know he’s doing it!

Playdough plays with lyrics like a cat plays with a dead mouse… he’s entertained by it, he’s knocking it from all angles until he’s finally devoured it…

If you’re expecting another ‘Hotdoggin’ then you’ll be disappointed… Playdough has moved on and it’s great to be able to listen to an album from an artist who keeps it FRESH. I often found myself singing along to parts of the album on my first listen… that’s how you know an artist has a good grasp on what makes a good album.

Playdough is an interesting kettle of fish as he’s able to keep his street cred that he gained with Deepspace5 by keeping the tracks not to ‘pop’ for the mainstream but not to inaccessible .. often it’s easy for an artist like Playdough to baffle you with science and bring out a really confusing album and call it ‘art’… Playdough walks the line well…

My favourite track is ‘Beatlejuice’ where Playdough takes the lyrics from the Beatles ‘Your Mother Should Know’ song and turns it into a smooth summer track (perfect for those in the Southern Hemisphere right now) where Simon and Garfunkel’s famous lady ‘Mrs Robinson’ makes an appearance…
Another favourite is the King of Queens track, where Playdough makes Bohemian Rhapsody his chorus, which is really cool to hear it done in another way… rather than just sampled as it is, as other lazier MC’s would do.

This is a fun album… don’t take this too seriously… but listen to it to have some serious fun…
Playdough is flexing his creative muscles… he’s showing who’s got the chops when it comes to mashing good tracks and adding lyrics that enhance the track… these aren’t copies of famous tracks… these aren’t even a tribute album… this is Playdough creating new songs with well work samples and lyrical prowess.

Playdough ‘King of Queens’

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