V-Chizzy on Lyrics Born’s Overnite Encore.

Lyrics Born, Overnite Encore (2006), Quannum Projects, Hip-Hop

From the Bay Area to Australia, Lyrics Born brings his full band and microphone to the eager crowds of Sydney and Melbourne. This release from last October features recordings from two shows and some bonus in-studio tracks. The Berkeley native is a rhythm rapper, dragging you along his phrases and lyrical stylings. If you were at these shows, you’d put your hands up and cheer in joy (especially Melbourne’s).

However, listening to the CD is a different experience. Verses sound muddled and are often incoherent, though some of this can be attributed to the live recording production. The charged crowds and funk-driven band with hot guitar licks help re-create the atmosphere and sometime drive the set along better than our MC. You want to root for all-heart Lyrics Born but in the end the album falls a bit short. His raspy voice can get tiresome. You find yourself getting bored after a few songs and maybe catching a nice chorus or two every set. There are some great moments like “Bad Dreams” and “I Can’t Wait For Your Love” but a higher share of dull, skip-worthy tracks.

Overnite Encore is like a peek into shows that you wished you could have attended, but don’t want to listen to if you didn’t. Sometimes you just had to have been there.

vincent chen