Album Review: Hoodie Allen – Leap Year

0 Posted by - 07/26/2011 - One Timer

Today Hoodie delivered Leap Year to the masses and I’ve taken the last few hours to listen to the mixtape and get a feel for it. In a word, it’s better. There are less recognizable samples, there’s more variation, and despite a few hiccups it’s a great listen. It’s every bit as fun and party-centric as you would expect, however, this time Hoodie takes us deeper and a little darker and Leap Year is much better for it.

First, the things we know and love him for. “The Chase Is On” has quickly grown into my favorite Hoodie track, and I already loved “Dreams Up” which I’m sure you’ve heard by now on some blog somewhere. He can easily deliver these summer jams now. His formula is as good as any label created pop artist without all the mechanization, and you can’t help but crack a smile. “James Franco” is a bit of a head scratcher – I want to hate it but I can’t. It’s so…silly that it works. “#WhiteGirlProblems” isn’t too shabby, the sarcasm combines with the production to make a very fun track.

Now let’s talk about life. Hoodie said he wanted Leap Year to mirror his life and experiences, and when you hear tracks like “Sticks And Stones” and “Push You Away” it’s apparent. “Stick And Stones” is two minutes of Hoodie getting a few things off his chest, no hook, no frills. Just rap. “Push You Away” features Hoodie’s crooning on the hook, and the entire track is an excellent inclusion. It shows how much he’s grown both personally and as an artist since Pep Rally. If anything, I want to hear him flex his vocals a little more in the future.

“Moon Bounce” is probably my favorite track on the mixtape (sans “The Chase Is On”).

I’m packing up and going to Mars/I’mma bounce, and I don’t ever want to come down

Is this Hoodie talking about bouncing on the life he had, or the life he has? I don’t know but I love the track. The success of this mixtape could propel him to where he wants to be but then there’s always that chance for failure. It always amazes me that dude had a job at Google, if not the best then one of the best places to work in the whole damn universe, and he gave it up to chase his dream.

Guts. He’s got ‘em, and because he’s got them Leap Year is a success. He could’ve stayed with what made him an indie-blog household name…instead he gave us what we already loved and then some. He found the sweet spot most artists miss – don’t go too far from your base, however, you have to spread yourself out and try new things.

Will this catapult him to the next level? I’m thinking it’s safe to say he’ll be getting his wish.

You can help him out by heading to his website and nabbing your free copy. Spread it around.

MP3: Moon Bounce by Hoodie Allen

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