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Killerz Living in Pleasantville

CD Review

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With their sophomore album, The Return of the Pleasantville Killerz, local hip-hop duo Pleasantville Killerz show that they know how to mix it up. But they may be sending mixed messages.

MCs Andy Byrd, aka Sketchy Waze, and Jesse Garcia, aka Jesse James, have put together an album that has a number of potential hits and club bangers. However, it also offers a glimpse of a more lyrical side of PK with songs like "Flows in the Rain," in which Sketchy Waze delivers a self-reflective first verse in the form of a prayer: "Oh my God, oh my God can you hear me / 'Cause I'm lost, oh so lost I need you near me / It started easy, but now it's complicated / I love this dream so much that everyone around me hates it."

There are more hits than misses on The Return, which is rife with catchy hooks and perfectly executed verses, but the subject matter, with a few exceptions, might better fit in the mainstream than the underground scene. More than half of this album would be perfect to throw in the mix at a house party with its melodic choruses that are reminiscent of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and flows that bring back memories of Three-Six Mafia's When the Smoke Clears. This separation in the subject matter shows the versatility of PK, but tracks like "Broke and Nameless" is a ballad about being so poor that they can't even afford the supersized meal at a drive-thru. While extremely clever, it's contradictory to previous tracks like "Make My Money" with a PK chorus that repeats, "Make my money, make my money."

If you are looking for innovation or Rhymesayer's next big thing, most of The Return of The Pleasantville Killerz might not be for you, but if you want something to rattle your trunk as two talented emcees put their skills on display, this one deserves a turn.

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