Mestizo - LifeLikeMovie      
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written by Christopher “Scav” Yuscavage    
Bless his soul, but even if he were alive, Gene Siskel would struggle to join Robert Ebert in giving Mestizo's "LifeLikeMovie" even one "thumb up."

Mestizo (which somewhat fittingly translates loosely from Spanish to English to mean, "mixed") presents a mixed-bag of sorts on his Galapagos4 Records debut combining elements of movie samples and themes in addition to a purposely-weird personality to create "LifeLikeMovie." However, instead of utilizing fresh and innovative ideas on "LifeLikeMovie," Mestizo instead creates a lackluster production of terribly poor quality recordings, awkward and shaky beat-selection, and interludes that become more annoying than an endless stream of commercials and sneak previews prior to a real movie. In short, Mestizo's potential aims towards becoming "Halloween" and instead translates into "The Blair Witch Project," a confusing low-budget independent that will either be fascinating to some or downright hideous to others.

Beginning with the introduction to Mestizo on "Previews...And Now...," the sound quality of the record gets called into question as the microphone dictates a scratchy, unprofessional sound that does no justice to Mestizo or his words. To its credit, "LifeLikeMovie" does do its best to improve the quality as the album progresses, but by the time "Brainphone" and "Miss Carried Fortune" strike, the unattractive feel of the entire album is hard to grasp all in one sitting (not unlike some awfully tedious and sloppy movies).

Mestizo is also a very unique and odd individual and much of what he says (similar to his label-mate Robust) gets lost by the wayside due to its weird nature. His quick-paced flow also may lose some listeners, but both can be excused under the right circumstances. His largest flaw during song making is his inability to create any type of reliable chorus or break between verses. "Baby Steps," "Eyes See Through You," "Empty Shelliton," and "Out of Place" are all worthy attempts by Mestizo, but his words sound simply mashed together and flow on for up to 3 minutes straight. On an album called "LifeLikeMovie," listeners might expect a J-Zonish ode to a variety of movie samples and themes during the choruses, but much to his demise, Mestizo only presents irrelevant sounding clips at awkward moments, as is the case with "Baby Steps."

When Mestizo does succeed, he does so with Academy Award style and grace, as in the case of "Salvatore," a "Godfather"-sampling track with a mafioso flair that employs a sped-up sample to cover the chorus. "America Hoffman" utilizes a Meaty Ogre (puzzled as to why someone would call himself a name that sounds like "mediocre?") production of heavy-hitting bass and another sped-up sample coupled with scratching for another two thumbs up performance. And production from Maker carries "When the Camera's Off (Reprint)" to success, but is Maker warning Mestizo on the chorus with a sample stating, "We got to get it together, before it's too late?"

None of these supporting tracks can save the "LifeLikeMovie," though, as Mestizo's off-key knack for the strange tales that eliminate any sense of continuity quickly make this a maybe-rent instead of a must-see. A few movie samples, a cleaned-up mic performance, and a chorus thrown in amongst Mestizo's ramblings and "LifeLikeMovie" might be tolerable. Until then, "Movie" will keep Siskel turning in his grave and keep the thumbs turning down on his debut effort...

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