JURASSIC 5 Jurassic 5 (Pan)
I bought this, the debut album from an American rap sextet, on the basis of the fabulous "Concrete Schoolyard", which had drilled itself into my head via its inclusion on an NME cover CD. Unfortunately the album rates as a major disappointment: not only is "Concrete Schoolyard" the best track, it also turns up a second time in a shortened instrumental form under the guise "Blacktop Beat". The remaining vinyl is shared almost equally between De La Soul-style skittery (some of which, "Quality Control Part II" and "Lesson 6: The Lecture" is admittedly very funny, and laced with dialogue samples to die for) and some uninspiring songs that harken back to the dark, pre-Public Enemy days of rap, before it became the protest music of disaffected youth, when it was just about enough to string a few reasonably convincing rhymes together. None of which should detract from the easygoing excellence of "Concrete Schoolyard", but don't say you weren't warned.