By Kristine Volvsek
Minneapolis hip-hop group Crunchy Kids just released their second album, Mint. A little less jazzy than their first album Crunchy Kids, Mint allowed the band to experiment with new sounds.
“Avenues” starts off the album talking about life as a trip with many intersections. Essentially, this song is about trying to balance family and the music-life. I really love the strings in this song and the line “if luck is a lady, karma’s a conman.”
The heady, floaty sounds at the beginning of “Smoke Clears” are soothing. Suddenly, like an alarm clock, a big sound fits the lyrics “When I wake up after the smoke clears..” I’ve noticed this song stuck in my head several times. “Smoke Clears” touches on some deep themes, but I feel like the words just begin to scratch the surface. The saxophone and organ really make the next track, “Inhaler,” super-cool.
“Nash Money” is probably the most well-known song from Mint thus far. It’s relatable – most people struggle with money and are frustrated by the lack of fairness in its distribution “Money’s more real when you don’t have it.” Check out the video for this song here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ji8XIH4pTHo
I don’t really understand the song “Buck and H.A.M.” It seems light-hearted and fun, but perhaps I’m just not high enough to get it. “Bread and Butter” is my favorite song on Mint. I get stuck on the line “It’s like we all hate the same system / Like we got a pulse, but ain’t livin.” “Creatures of Habitat” is one of the jazzier songs on the album and “What Feeling” has an interesting glitch-electro feel.
I enjoy Crunchy Kids’ live band sound and the variety of instruments used on Mint. The lyrics, however, are generally surface deep – it’s lacking the imagery, metaphors, and word play that make you think. Many of the songs on Mint tell anecdotal stories of the struggles of trying to make it big in the music industry and of raising a family, but I feel like Crunchy Kids could benefit from examining what that feels like below the surface. “Nash Money” and “Bread and Butter” show fans that Crunchy Kids has the potential to “go deeper” so-to-speak. I know they have it in them, and I will enjoy watching Crunchy Kids grow as artists.
The release party for Crunchy Kids’ Mint will be at Cause on Friday, May 17. Other performers include Rapper Hooks and Sophia Eris, and the event will be hosted by Big Zach and Audio Perm. The buzz on the internet lately also says that Crunchy Kids just recorded a new music video, so keep your eyes peeled for that.