Bo Benton :: I Know U Want It :: Gold Starr Records
as reviewed by Alex Sheremet

I suppose it's possible, but it's hard to imagine a more banal album cover than Bo Benton's two derivative photos, a front-to-back affair quite unconscious of its silliness. In front, Bo is crawling on a stone table, face turned, hair down, wearing little, thinking less. The outfit has a few ‘gaps,' and, on the back cover, you are given the opportunity to gaze at greater detail, and examine two muscled, blindfolded gentlemen, both wearing dog chains at which Bo may, if she so wishes, tug. Her chaperones look awfully pleased, the only happy party to this affair. And, since this thing is obviously not about talent, originality, humor, or anything, really, relevant to art, I won't spend too much of your time. If this into seems incomplete or unsatisfying, as if Bo is one-dimensional, consider that I have no angle to go on, other than what Bo provides.

"I Know U Want It" has seven tracks, five of which are variations of the title's single, and "Baller" - there are instrumentals, a cappella, and radio edits of each, in case you're caught up in Bo's voice, the quality of the production, or would simply like to spin these tracks for a sensitive audience, chaperoned quite unlike Bo. The title track opens up with some fairly inauspicious production, which I can't even describe adequately, but not in a complex, M.I.A. kind of way - in brief, some claps, some shakes, and electronic rings, typical second-rate club stuff that is not put together well, nor in any way interesting. No, I am not at all averse to "club" songs in general, hence my invocation of M.I.A., but entertainment, like art, has standards, too. Bo Benton does not meet them, especially lyrically - not even typical club tripe, but, even worse, almost parodies of other bad songs, synthesized to nothing. Structurally, then, it's hackneyed, offering bridges without substance, vocal distortions and variations without much style.

Raekwon gets on "Baller" and does not really improve an average track. It's much darker, although still club-esque, and Bo does not really sing, but rap. And, as a rapper, she is slightly more distinctive, not for her substance, but voice. Even when she sings, it's quite deep, and offers a nice contrast to most pop music. This is not grating, merely interesting - many of the best artists, including Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, and Vladimir Vysotsky, have had unconventional voices, the last being responsible for completely changing what is and isn't acceptable in Russian "bard" music. Bo, then, offers something slightly different, without ruining it. That's not to say it's good, but there is some potential if she lets go of the silly subject matter as well as the poor structural elements that is almost the hallmark of club music.

Music Vibes: 5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 3 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 4 of 10

Originally posted: March 10, 2009