RAVI – 'R.OOK BOOK'
1. R.OOK BOOK
3. L.A.Y.E.R.E.D (Feat. SAAY ex-Evol)
4. Melting Point (Feat. Cold Bay)
6. U-NIVERSE (Cosmocorps) (Feat. Rick Bridges)
7. HOODIE (Feat. Xydo, Raf Sandou)
8. (Bonus track) live (Feat. Chung Ha)
Ravi has just released his second solo LP, 'R.ook Book!' The VIXX rapper has a pretty impressive collection of songs under his belt already (especially with three mixtapes!), and this album is likely to be no exception. This one features 8 brand new tunes, including "live" with Chung Ha, released before the album itself was out.
The short "R.ook Book" has kind of a funky backing melody, but Ravi unleashes is rapid-fire raps on this one. It's a grooving song to boot, with some jazzy piano flourishes. I think he intended this as an intro song, given its length. I like this song a lot. "Tuxedo" is the title track about dressing up, feeling good and just abandoning your cares. Which is good, because if you're laid back enough you might just forgive his pronunciation of the title. This is a cheerful, heavier tune. This is harder edged modern R&B, with generous autotune and pounding beats. It's fun and should get your feet moving. "L.A.Y.E.R.E.D" is a slower R&B, smoother than "Tuxedo." The raps are okay here. It's a little weird sounding because I'm used to pretty female vocals on this style of song, instead of Ravi's scratchy voice. Fortunately, SAAY picks this up in the second half and sounds absolutely gorgeous. I remember her from the ill-fated Evol (miss that group) and I had no idea she could do that.
Ravi still stays halfway mellow with "Melting Point." The tune still has some pounding beats, but there are some snaps and a thrumming bassline. Cold Bay guests on this one, and his style meshes really well with Ravi's. I like the spare instrumentation on this one. It's kind of laid back and just an overall good tune. "RUNWAY" sounds like a playful song. And like the other tunes, Ravi sings on this one too. It's a little strange to hear him do this because he really can't sing -- neither can I, but I'm not about to put out an album advertising that fact. Doesn't stop it from being a pretty sick song, though. "U-NIVERSE" is more upbeat and playful than "Runway." And it has this sweet sample at the beginning of a wedding proposal on an airplane. Aww... Rapper Rick Bridges guest stars on this tune, and he does a fairly decent rap, although nothing particularly special. His flow picks up a little bit in the second verse, though.
On "HOODIE" Ravi hands off the rapping duties to Xydo and Ref Sandou. It's interesting because these guys are pretty smooth singers. I can totally see why he brought them in to help him with this track. This song is maddeningly earwormy. It should be illegal to make such a simple song so catchy. "live" is an uplifting song. He teams up with Chung Ha to deliver a sweet duet. This is more of a collaboration because she gets a lot of time by herself. And why not? She has a great voice and more of it is never a bad thing. The song's message is encouraging, and Ravi wants you to know that he cares about you-- he wants you not to give into depression and keep on living.
In contrast to his band VIXX, known for their edgy concepts, Ravi's material is fairly upbeat. His songs don't really brush the dark side. Even heavier concepts like "live" have a positive message. While I can't say his songwriting is particularly deep on this one, at least it's a lot of fun to listen to.
Ravi is dressed to kill in the MV for his latest promotional single, "Tuxedo."
Well, most of the time, at any rate. In various parts, the VIXX rapper is in a black suit, white jacket, and black pants, and then in a casual outfit with plaid pants. Regardless of what else you can say about him, the MV just makes him look cool. Like ice cold.
The video is largely performance, with a few narrative elements thrown in as set pieces. But it's mostly him dancing with other, posing alone on a sports car, or shooting you a devilish glance over his shoulder. There are scenes of him at a party, color changes, some faux glitches thrown in, plus meaningless words just tossed on the screen at random times.
But now that you know what the MV looks like, is it any good?
I will admit that there are some really striking shots (particularly the beginning), and it's a helluva lot cooler than I make it sound. Plus, buoyed by that exciting title track, it just makes the whole thing even more awesome. So yeah, if you're a fan of Ravi, it's definitely worth a watch.
MV SCORE: 8.3
ALBUM SCORE: 8.0