Have you ever listened to an album and had basically no feelings about-neither good nor bad? If not, this could be the first one for you. This feeling of nothingness certainly isn’t desirable, and surely wasn’t the intent of Malik Ameer, but it at least saves Sanctified from being a thoroughly unpleasant listen. At very worst, you might come away thinking “Well, it wasn’t bad.” That basically summarizes this album.

Sanctified is as bland as albums come; decent is really the best way to describe it. The beats are decent, Malik’s lyrics and flow are decent. In the liner notes, Malik thanks some of his different influences: “The entire Jazz, Blues, funk, soul, gospel, hiphop, mobshit, rock, punk and soul scenes of the bay area.” Based on this, you’d think you might be in for some kind of eclectic musical treat, but not even close.

Malik seems to sound most comfortable and natural on the funk-influenced productions like “Rokyabody,” “T.H.U.G., My Man,” and “Dialogue With God,” but none of these tracks is going to jump out and really impress. His voice simply doesn’t hold a listener’s attention, and he ventures too often into a staccato delivery, such as on “The Other Side,” which features an otherwise decent beat.

This project is undoubtedly ambitious, Malik produced nearly the entire himself, but there’s really not much that shows either unpolished potential or a talented underachiever. The politically and socially conscious tracks like “Overstand 1492” and “Tecumsah” are admirable, but they both fall victim to the age old cliché of “it’s not just what you’re saying, but how you’re saying it, too.”

I wish there was some kind of redeeming promise for the future that I could point to on this album and at least have hope for the future, but I’m really not finding it. Though some of the content on Sanctified isn’t exactly run-of-the-mill, the final result is. If Malik just enjoys making music, and isn’t putting too many proverbial eggs in this basket, then more power to him. It would be easy to say this album is good or bad, and therefore give it a 7 overall or a 2 overall, but it’s not.

Malik Ameer :: Sanctified