I’ll say straight out that the rap scene has never really been my cup of tea. However, once in a blue moon, an artist catches my interest. Unfortunately, Mickey Avalon is not such an artist. Armed with more narcissism than Eminem (and a similarly nasally voice), Avalon’s music consists of little more than readymade and reproduced beats with a mediocre singing style. Some of his songs are catchy, but overall, his self-titled debut displays no innovation, merely banking off the assumption that consumers will buy his music because of his Jim Morrison-like sex appeal and in-your-face attitude.
The first three songs on the album, including the MySpace hit ‘Jane Fonda,’ have decent beats, though they try too hard to imitate Beck’s style of electronica and hip-hop. From here the album quickly descends into generic hip-hop beats with Avalon rapping over them. They all pretty much run together and the few songs that you can actually discern from the others have stolen elements from more popular and talented artists.
‘Roll the Dice’ features a Linkin Park-like screaming chorus, and the beat in ‘Friends and Lovers’ sounds like something from OutKast, while ‘Roll Up Your Sleeves’ has a high-pitched chorus of women singing in the background, as in many other soul-inspired songs by other artists.
Even generic beats and melodies can become enjoyable with clever or well-written lyrics. But unfortunately, Avalon’s lyrics are probably the most aggravating element of his music. They primarily consist of obscene taboo subjects, aiming for shock value over content by conjuring up disgusting and graphic images of sex, sodomy, drugs and bulimia.
Since each song is crammed with as many obscenities as possible, the lyrics come off as anticlimactic or absurd beyond belief. The entire album is childish, as can be seen by the fact that there are 69 tracks prior to the bonus track ‘My Dick,’ which features artists Dirt Nasty and Andre Legacy rapping with Avalon about how cool their members are.
The disturbing history of Avalon’s youth might at least provide him with serious material for his lyrics. But the truth is that Avalon doesn’t even write his own songs, every one of which has been written, composed and mixed by someone else.
Even with all this help, Avalon’s music is still pretty stale and lacks any clever insight or invention. Even with a professional lyricist backing him up, it looks like Avalon’s lyrics have been written with the help of a rhyming dictionary. And as far as content is concerned, it’s all about sex, drugs and Mickey. Heaven forbid that he could actually rap about something intelligent.
The core of Mickey Avalon is really his image. He wants to be tough