Busdriver, Perfect Hair – Album Review
Elaina Ransford reviews the tenth studio LP from Busdriver, which follows his highly-acclaimed 2012 release, Beaus$Eros:
Perfect Hair (a fantastic and apt title) is a bass-heavy, heavily 90’s influenced album that is, at its core, “very LA.” Regan Farquhar, stage-name Busdriver, is in fact an LA native who began rapping at the ripe age of 13 as part of the group 4/29. His age, LA roots, and long exposure to rap are common tropes throughout his latest album, in which he expresses his difficulty with millennials (in “Eat Rich”) and his insecurity about being over 30 (in “Retirement Ode”).
The best track by far is “Can’t You Tell I’m a Sociopath,” which, despite its dark subject is actually peppy, upbeat, and has Busdriver rapping quickly and consistently throughout. The rest of the album is largely comprised of heavy bass, harsh vocals, and a decidedly 90’s rap sound. However, each song seems to be a kind of plot twist; the album is held together by its neverending chaos. You can hear Busdriver’s struggle throughout the album, with lines like “Get me away from here,” “What’s that the millennials brewed/ make sense of it all,” and titles like “Ego Death.”
There are a few tracks on which Busdriver actually sings, notably, on “Upsweep.” His voice is strained, hoarse, but strangely pleasurable to listen to, especially as he moves seamlessly into rapping. The note of longing and frustration that pervades these tunes is typical of the tone of the album as a whole, which has a frantic, crazy sense to it.
Overall Perfect Hair is definitely worth a listen, especially if you’re the type of person who regularly tunes into LA’s rap station, 92.3, or just enjoys good 90’s rap sound.
Perfect Hair is out now via Big Dada / Inertia
Review by Elaina Ransford