Pigeon John has been a part of my two favorite hip-hop albums (Brainwash Projects – The Rise and Fall and Pigeon John – The Summertime Pool Party). His work with LA Symphony is great and I’ve loved his solo records. He’s been my favorite hip-hop artist ever since I saw him open for Rod Laver.
Dragon Slayer is up and down. Pigeon John isn’t the worlds greatest mc, so beats and his cleverness have always been important. That’s what made The Summertime Pool Party so good; The production was super strong. The production on Dragon Slayer is different than Summertime Pool Party. It’s more low key. Which I guess is what you’d say about Dragon Slayer as a whole. It’s really low key for a Pigeon John record.
Dragon Slayer is more reflective in tone and lyrical content. But it’s also less of a hip-hop record. There’s more singing, more soul and rock influence. The album starts off good with The Bomb (best track on the album), Buttersoft Seats, and Dude It’s On. Rock Bottom Again is where things change. Musically it’s a horn and piano song, not completely upbeat. It has something of a 1930’s type feel… But that doesn’t really capture the song properly. Before We’re Gone and Davey Rockit are more pop songs (although Davey Rockit has more of a hip-hop verse). Hey You is my second favorite song on the record and likeThe Bomb has great energy. The last four tracks on the record… I just don’t care for.
It’s not your typical modern day hip-hop beats… But there’s something different about this record. It probably appeals more to a younger hip-hop fan and that’s fine. You have to be relevant to the buying market and I can’t fault Pigeon John for that. There are a handful of really great moments on this record, but from start to finish it just doesn’t stick with me.