Flobots' “Survival Story” Music Review

4/01/2010 Posted by Admin

Music Review

Flobots' “Survival Story”

By our guest blogger, Megan O'Malley

The Flobots are part of the resurgence of the socially responsible hip-hop artist. Along with Northwest acts Blue Scholars and Common Market, these groups are using their art to promote a peaceful agenda and social well-being. On their first major label album, “Fight with Tools,” the Flobots went down this path of righteous hip-hop and on their latest album, “Survival Story,” they continue--although in a much more preachy way.

“Survival Story” starts right up with a cacophonous orchestration--it really jars the listener to pay attention. The first song, “Cracks in the Surface,” has a Metallica feel to it. Although the Flobots are known for melding rock and hip-hop, this album is much more rock and roll then their last. For the most part, the songs are catchy and worth a listen but at times they tend to go off into preaching. This happens during the middle of the album. “White Flag Warrior,” “Airplane Mode” and “By the Time You Get This Message . . .” are all good except that they get almost too righteous. There is a fine line between venting your feelings and barking at others for their lack of worldly knowledge.

Their preachy mentality aside, I like the Flobots. They have intelligent lyrics. They aren’t just rapping about ladies and weed (I’m talking to you Snoop Dogg).  Instead, it’s much deeper then that. Highlights of the album include “If I,” which has a Mos Def quality to it, and “The Effect.” Also, the woman who peppers their songs is excellent. She adds a light quality that is needed on some of their more serious subjects.

The Flobots have created another solid album. They just need to lighten up a bit. Not always, just occasionally. Their smash hit “Handlebars” was both serious and fun at the same time, and it still had a socially responsible message. “Survival Story” is dark and harsh, but still an album worth listening to.

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