Never Change

by: South Park Mexican

South Park Mexican (SPM) continues to polish his sound with Never Change, his most crafted album yet. The Houston, TX, rapper/producer does almost everything on this album with the exception of a few outside producers and some vocalists on the album's many hooks. It's the outside vocalists who characterize this album more than anything. SPM hasn't changed much as either a producer or a rapper -- his trademark snail-paced, low-toned idiom and his mid-tempo, sparse tracks are highly evident. What has changed, though, is the way SPM emphasizes the vocal hooks -- they anchor each of his songs, with Ayana handling most of the hooks. Overall, Never Change sounds great. SPM's music has never been this crafted. However, it's also just as formulaic as it is crafted. Sure, SPM has perfected his craft, but he's also fallen victim to its confines. He seldom ventures into new territory and seems overly content polishing up his trademark sound. And that's unfortunate because as crafted as these songs are, they're also a bit too routine. Nonetheless, even if many of the hooks are as catchy as hooks are intended to be, it's worth repeating that this album sounds great. Songs like "I Must Be High" are among SPM's best, and the inclusion of a few screwed songs is also nice, particularly since they're distributed throughout the album and since they fit into the album's sedate tone. In the end, Never Change is another impressive effort for SPM, though it's not the masterpiece you feel he's capable of. Too often it sounds like he's going through the motions here. [The clean version of this album attempts to censor any and all moments of profanity.] ~ Jason Birchmeier

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