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Living Legends 

Classic

Wednesday, Apr 27 2005
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You can tell by the off-kilter intro beats to the kickoff track, "Blast Your Radio," that indie hip hop collective Living Legends is on to a fresh sound. Then the virtuosic eight-man crew of MCs and producers -- largely culled from distinguished Bay Area (Mystik Journeymen) and Los Angeles (3 Melancholy Gypsys) groups -- aligns itself with dozens of pop-culture darlings: Mustangs, "real Coca-Cola," Beverly Cleary, "Witch and the Wardrobe," Bob Marley. So when hit with a rapid-fire alliterative gem like "in my classic California Condor 67-horsepower Jurassic flow," we're less astonished than duly satisfied. Most of the other tunes yield rhymes, grooves, and tripped-out tasteful production that makes you go ahhh ..., but there's also genuine schlock on this 14-song disc: "Never Falling Down," with its cheesy synth-voice chorus, and "Even Though (I Still Love You)," a surprisingly trite melody. Which raises the question: Is an 85 percent success rate really "classic" or just better than average with serious potential?

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Sam Prestianni

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