Many times reviewing independent album's ends up as a chore more than a pleasurable listening experience. Most of the material tends to be solid in some areas, but lacks the overall polish to truly make it great. However, some times an album or artist comes along that totally blow you away with their material and destroys all misconceptions. AD's "Misguided Recordings" is one of those albums that shocked me on how well it turned out. Hailing from Madison Wisconsin, AD is one half of the group called The Crest, which also features his brother Jack Cracker. While your typical b-boy material, AD is far from an unpolished emcee, as he showcases his extraordinary ability to do what most artists fail to do in today's industry, make good songs.
AD posses a unique combination of spectacular lyricism, solid charisma and an uncanny knack for producing well formed songs. You can tell AD has put forth a lot of time and effort into every thing he produces as "Misguided Recordings" is one of the most well balanced independent albums I have heard this year. While lyrically AD is always on point, it's not his lyricism that attracts you to him, even though it certainly could. It's AD's charisma and smooth flow that set the tone for the whole album as he gracefully rides over beautiful production from a variety of producers, but mainly Myron Mayhem. While not much is known about producer Myron Mayhem, he immediately blew me away with his spectacular production throughout the album. His production resembles sounds of the past as it captivates that old soulful sound generated in Hip-Hop's mid to early years. It's smooth yet with an undertone of hardness. Tracks like "M.E.", "Cheers To The Sunrise", "The Truth Is Lies" and "Did U?" all encompass the same sound, as Myron and AD gel perfectly together with precise chemistry. However, the smooth/jazz filled production isn't the only type Myron displays as seen on tracks such as "The Seed" and "Dying/The End", which both featuring amazing production, especially the samples utilized.
While Myron Mayhem perfectly laces the production side of the album, it is still AD who shines brightest on the album. Whether its insightful looks inside life as seen on the previous mentioned tracks, b-boy anthems such as "Intro/The Cage" & "Impossible Dream" or dedications to everybody's favorite herbal remedy on "La La La", "Misguided Recordings" captures it all. Variety is also never at a minimum; as AD even experiments with his flow on "Dilla", displaying his perfect doubled timed rhyme patterns. And while these types of tracks show AD's versatility behind the mic, it is still the deeper side of "Misguided Recordings" that ends up as the albums showcase.
While minimal, there are a couple of disappointing efforts featured on the album. "Alluv", "People Wait Their Whole Lives" and "Life" all fail mostly due to sub par production, even though lyrically AD continues to hold his own. Other than the tracks mentioned, it is hard to find many flaws featured on the album.
With some spectacular lyricism, production and song writing abilities, AD's "Misguided Recordings" ends up as one of the finer independent albums of the year and one of the biggest surprises. AD definitely has what it takes to advance in this industry and just needs to keep refining his skills and pushing towards that goal. Not only AD, but producer Myron Mayhem shine bright on the album, as they should continue to keep that chemistry and vibe going for all future projects. These two definitely have something going and more collaborations between the two would only enhance their efforts.
They say good music is everywhere, you just have to know where to look, and AD's "Misguided Recordings" is proof of that. For more information on AD and The Crest, visit The Crest's Website.