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City Paper Review: Pastor Troy’s ‘Attitude Adjuster’

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Attitude Adjuster is more of the same from Atlanta’s Pastor Troy, but that’s a good thing. He’s one of many Southern rap vets to drop low-key classics every other year with little interest in a hit. The production is decidedly Southern but not Soulja Boy Southern. Whether it’s murder rap (“Put Him on the Scope”) or a heartfelt elegy to lost “soldiers” in his hometown and Iraq (“For My Soldiers”), stuttering 808s bounce all around, while depressive chipmunk soul and pained rock guitar wail underneath.

Sonic consistency and a modest length of about 45 minutes aid Pastor’s street rapper-meets-thoughtful dude persona and make even his weirder choices–like, say, a Sting fetish–a success: “Soldiers” samples Sting’s “Shape of My Heart” and “Street Law” grabs its riffs from the Police’s “Message in a Bottle.” Both of Pastor’s Gordon Sumner-swiping tracks avoid Puffy melodrama and reach into the originals to tear out genuine pathos and energy. Longtime fans recall this isn’t his first song inspired by a rock legend: On his 1999 debut, Troy dropped the affecting, Beach Boys-quoting “Help Me Rhonda.”

Brian Wilson and company might again come to mind on Adjustor’s best track, car ode “My Box Chevy,” an affecting reminiscence (“bought my Caprice from an old white couple . . . “) with a chant-chorus simply repeating “my box Chevy” over and over, like Troy wants to will the album’s only uplifting memory back again. Deceptively simple albums like this one rarely win accolades, but they should.”

Written by Brandon

April 9th, 2008 at 5:50 pm