Dedication EP review

You’re The Only One I Need? Yeah, the only song I need to hear to know that Dedication is not a good album.

Californian “Hip-Pop” duo Kalin and Myles are gracing the Parkway West Pathfinder with their album after we were sent many, many posters of their expressionless faces, a CD of Dedication in all of its awkward-sounding glory and a Microsoft Word-created biography of the two that featured a very nice clipart piece of a dog not related in any way to the duo. If the band’s marketing team was hoping to grab the attention of teenage music fans who haven’t yet heard their songs, then this review is a minor success. Sadly, I’m not the kind of person to give them a review based on their appearance, as it seems their fans do.

Wondering what “Hip-Pop” even is? According to their biography, it’s how “together, [Kalin and Myles] stir up pop, hip-hop and R&B into an irresistible and inimitable hybrid affectionately and appropriately dubbed ‘Hip Pop.’” It might seem like a nice concept, and some other bands might even make it sound nice, but in Kalin and Myles case, hip-pop is something to be avoided.

Take for example their most popular song on the album: “Trampoline.” I have to give props to the actual music itself, as the instrumental parts turned out pretty good. Only problem? Kalin and Myles don’t play a single instrument, and the only part of the song that sounds good is either a computerized cluster of sounds or some uncredited studio musicians. The only thing the two singers can take credit for in the song is their rapping, which, in all honesty, is as far from rapping as it could be. These two don’t sing a single word in this song, and they certainly don’t rap, either, leaving their contribution to the song a choppy mix of monotonous, robotic spoken ‘rapping’ that sounds like it’s been filtered through numerous sound editing programs to make it sound better.

A song of the same name as the album, “Dedication,” isn’t much better. The duo sounds as if they’ve progressed further in the direction of singing rather than rapping on this one, but the background music is little more than some generic “rap” sounds mashed together into a track. And echo sounds. What do you mean it sounds horrible when you make the end of every single set of lyrics include some sort of fading echo effect?

But Kalin and Myles are described as creating “deft rhymes” and being excellent songwriters. And let me say, I’m not sure they’re even trying. Instead of just clapping their hands, why not say the word clap out loud? Their rhymes don’t particularly work, either, and when they do they tend to be pretty basic. “You” rhymed with “do”, “see” rhymed with “me”, “low” rhymed with “no”; listening to their music is like being back in a 2nd grade classroom where the kids have just learned about rhymes.

Besides their awkward wording, Dedication features some of the most shallow lyrics I’ve heard in a long time. Some songs of similar genre can pull off shallow lyrics with an overall fantastic sound to the song, but none of the songs on Dedication have the instrumentals to make it work. Each song has maybe two unique verses that aren’t the chorus, which in each song can be repeated up to five times. The rest of the music is just short filler lines of a couple unneeded words each.

Really, there doesn’t seem to be a reason for all the hype, if there is any hype besides what they’re generating themselves with their MS word flyers. This album hardly reaches mediocrity in either hip hop or pop, and is genuinely terrible in the duo’s made-up world of “hip-pop.”

The Parkway West Pathfinder gives Dedication a 2.0/10.