If this was the year I became a metal head, then this was also the year that I finally learned how to truly jam out to an instrumental album. I feel so alive when I listen to BBNG and it’s hard to put my finger on why. It’s like normal jazz. But its not normal jazz. It helps that a lot of the tracks are covers but even “Vices,” or “Rotten Decay” BBNG originals, go just as hard. In fact, they go exceptionally hard and “Rotten Decay” is one of my favorite tracks because of how diverse it is and how quickly the whole mood of it changes. I think what makes this jazz so much better than most though, is the incredible bass lines. Jazz is known for walking bass lines, but BBNG takes that term to another level with their meandering yet powerful melodic lines that hide behind the usual energy that is their music. The tracks off of BBNG2 are filled to the brim with sound and have some of the best climaxes of the year. They are the masters of rising action, starting almost every song off slowly, with just bass and drums and then slowly building anticipation by adding more and more parts and speeding up the already usually quick tempo.
When the highs of each song hit, they fucking hit. It feels like the middle of a rock song infused with the smoothness of jazz. “Bastard/Lemonade” has one of the best breakdowns of the whole album and when that piano melody that is the chorus hits, I guarantee the guy playing the piano has bloody stumps for fingers because he is playing so hard. Same for the bass and drum player; the ferocity and intensity of the music are reflected in the effort playing these instruments takes. The hard-hitting tracks are also intertwined by softer, more melodious tracks that allow the listener time to appreciate the awesome skill set these musicians have. Their cover of “Limit To Your Love” is so stunning; I am at a loss for words after I hear it. It is one of the softer songs to be sure, but it also shows off the magnificent bass playing executed on the regular that sometimes goes unnoticed in all the commotion of their songs. And. Last but not least. The seven-minute version of “Flashing Lights” they do is beyond magnificent. It is pure gold, with the perfect build up, a blasting chorus and a gentle slope of music as the song retreats from the genius it came from. Because Kanye may have created that song, but BBNG destroyed it.