Joey Touch – Nightlife [Review]
Vancouver, BC – Originally published March 5, 2014 – East Vancouver native Joey Touch recently released his debut album, Night Life, under Volunteer Media on Valentines day 2014. This project will be followed up by his sophomore release, Dreams, which is already in early production. Joey Touch mixes high energy party rap with dark overtones of the city life.
The level of production on Joey Touch’s debut album really goes to show you what the people behind the scenes can do to make an average artist seem larger than life. First class beats and impressive production values serve as distractions to what is largely an empty, colourless rap performance. Joey’s flow feels like he’s blowing against the wind. It just doesn’t hit home and his delivery is hard to keep up with. He frequently slurs words and fails to pronounce them properly leading to a frustrating experience and poor immersion for the listener.
If you’re going to listen to this album and get “fucked up” as he claims to be in all his songs it might be worth treating Night Life as an instrumental album and tuning Joey’s verses out entirely. The beats really are that good. Up-and-coming names like ADOTHEGOD and Lexi Banks really steal the spotlight. If you want to leave your expectations in bed with you when you wake up tomorrow, listen to Night Life and let it be nothing more than a dope collection of beats to cruise to on a rainy Vancity night. The 808 drenched bangers waltz with haunting synths and memorable melodies. Atmospheric, goose bump inducing backdrops set the stage for the hard hitting snares and trap inspired hi-hats. You’ll be thankful you invested in some new speakers and those expensive headphones when you listen to Night Life.
Aside from rare lines bout his personal life like “Mamma I miss you/ Probably why I have issues/ Tears are on these tissue/ Mixing drug misuse” from “Leather Jacket Gold Chain” Joey isn’t really talking about anything at all that’s worth paying attention to. That’s just one line. That’s not even a teaser. Give us something to invest in. Getting fucked up, puking until you vomit and busting on some chicks tits? This style was created ages ago and Joey Touch is nothing more than an imitation that falls far from the authentic product. “Gotta get signed/ I gotta get paid/ I gotta get high/ I gotta get laid.” Yea we get it… you and 8 million other cookie cutter white rappers. What reason do we have to choose Joey over all the other self proclaimed “Young Loc’s”? That question is left unanswered on Night Life.
What Joey Touch does do well however is make a killer chorus. He should start a career as a feature artist. Get Joey on your next party jam. Don’t call him a lyricist though; the man can write a catchy hook there’s no doubt. The track “Steve Nash” is probably one of the better examples of how well Joey can use minimal vocabulary to grab the listener’s attention. It will be stuck in your head for days. You’ll be in the shower singing to yourself “Bitch I’m like/ Bitch I’m like/ Bitch I’m like, Steve Nash.” It’s fun. It’s infectious.
Like really, let’s face it, Joey isn’t Common. He’s not Mos Def. This is party rap. We get that. His verses have zero depth or substance, but maybe that’s OK because the rest of Night Life makes up for his lack of skill as an emcee. Let’s also make one thing clear. If we’re talking about the classic definition of MC meaning “Move the Crowd” than Joey Touch can MC. Wasted people at a party will dig this because it requires absolutely no effort to listen to. If we’re talking about a talented individual who can inspire and push the boundaries of wordplay and imagination, then Joey missed the flight. This is entertainment at the end of the day and even if he comes across more like J-Roc from The Trailer Park boys than Jay-Z from Brooklyn, Joey Touch will amuse you.
Written by Max Dishaw for HipHopCanada
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