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The radio is a pretty amazing device. Think about it, all around us, there are waves of energy and this little box called a radio harnesses them all and returns to us music, talk, or static. With the spin of a little dial we can listen to a wide variety of styles, musical and otherwise. However, for a radio to work appropriately, one must “tune” it into the proper channels.

4th Avenue Jones, the hip hop outfit that has been set to blow up for years, manages to harness a wide range of styles and musical elements resulting in their debut national release Stereo: The Evolution of HipRockSoul . Starting off the album and running throughout, are sound bytes of a radio dial being tuned behind fond memories of music as told by members of the six-piece powerhouse. Pulling from each edge of the musical spectrum, 4th Avenue Jones creates a listening experience like none other as they forge the way for a genre they’ve dubbed HipRockSoul. Anchoring the sound, the roots of rock and hip hop combine with jazz, funk, and r&b to provide an artistic and innovative concoction that serves up a taste of the future of music as we know it.

“Stereo”, the lead single, introduces the listener to this mix with a driving rhythmic section, solid vocals and a killer rap verse. Tracks like “Take Me Away” , “Who’s Watching Me”, and “Rush” continue this aural assault that keeps your attention and takes music to a new high. Other tracks showcase the group’s versatility, such as “Caesar”, a track that is constructed right in front of your ears, with each “piece” of the composition comes in one at a time.

Thematically, the album fits together like a jigsaw puzzle. Each track, when properly observed and placed, offers another glimpse at the bigger picture which captures the scenery of a life that is all too familiar for many of us. Whether it’s haunting past relationships (“Fabulous Dramatics”), arguments with people who are important to us (“Unhappy Birthday”), struggling to make it through the day (“Take Me Away”), and a general sense of frustration (“Why”), each song speaks to a common part of life and the difficulties that many of us face during our journey. “Overloaded” relates beautifully to schedules that are hard to keep and the busyness that fills our lives and often overwhelms us.

4th Avenue Jones pulled out all the stops and have achieved new heights with Stereo: The Evolution of HipRockSoul . With a firm grasp of musical standards and traditions, the group stretches the borders on this phenomenal effort. Easily the hottest release of this year so far.

Release Date: March 29, 2005

Label: Gotee Records

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1. Jenny (Intro)
2. Stereo
3. Fabulous Dramatics
4. Unhappy Birthday
5. Overloaded
6. Take Me Away
7. Sorry
8. Monumental Continental
9. Who’s Watching Me?
10. Caeser
11. Why Listen
12. Rush
13. It’s Over Now