WPTS From The Vault
From the Vault: Travis Barker – Give the Drummer Some (Deluxe Edition) By: Timotheus G. Hinton
Welcome to “From the Vault”, a column where we express our thoughts on an older album, all while taking a look back at a previous review of that album from one of our past contributors. After doing some deep digging through the vast archive of music here at WPTS, we found an album and review that is a great pick for this month’s edition: Travis Barker’s first (and only) studio album, Give the Drummer Some. But before we get into our thoughts, let’s take a quick look at a previous review of it.
“I’m sure you all know or have at least heard of Travis Barker. Well this is his solo album. You might be wondering, “Why is he producing a hip-hop album?” Well, to answer your question, he doesn’t say one word on the entire album. He basically features different artists on every single track. Some of these artists include Swizz Beatz, Bun B, RZA, Rick Ross, Tom Morello, Slash, Ludacris, Lupe Fiasco, Twista, and Kid Cudi. So it’s safe to say it’s an eclectic mix. Some of the drum solos are beyond amazing, which make up for some of the stupid lyrics. This album has tons of bass and sounds awesome on a sound system or headphones which provide the perfect platform for heavy bass.
Travis Barker is a man that needs no introduction. He’s done a great deal of work for music, fashion, and culture. I’m not (and wasn’t ever) his biggest supporter, but I am at least aware of who he is and what he’s done. (I used to rock his clothing line, Famous Stars and Straps, a ton when I was younger.) It’s just, for numerous reasons, I’ve always thought that he’s very overrated and overhyped. My opinions of Barker caused me to hit the “Opt-Out Button” on this album when it was released. After finally giving it a listen all these years later, I can see why I never listened to it back in 2011.
Give the Drummer Some doesn’t accomplish much. I don’t really know what Barker was after on this one. It could simply be a project that he wanted to make for fun. Or it could be a project that he was actually trying to make something out of. For some people, opinions on the album could depend upon what you think his motives were. For me, it doesn’t matter. It’s simply not a good album.
As stated in the review above, this album is just a bunch of collaborations with various hip-hop and rock artists. The group is loaded from top to bottom and does indeed make for an eclectic mix of artists. The sad thing is that none of them are utilized properly, which is a shame. Each comes and goes without leaving the listener with the slightest bit of recollection that they even appeared on a track. Whether it be them hopping on a hook, dropping a verse, or hitting a solo, none of the features are memorable. Not only are the features not memorable, but again, as stated before, some of them… Wait hold on, lots of them…. No, wait. Ninety percent of them, are either ridiculously weak or downright garbage. The bars are weak, the hooks are boring, and the solos leave a lot to be desired. Barker produced a great deal of the album, with help from the likes of The Neptunes, Chuck Inglish, and Kool Kojak amongst others. His production isn’t out of this world, but it’s still pretty solid. The only thing is that after about the sixth track or so, you start to grow tired of it. Everything is either really loud, or is a solid idea that just falls flat. Plus, Barker’s drumming isn’t even spectacular on any of the tracks. The best track all-around for me is, “If You Want To”, which features Pharrell and Lupe Fiasco. (And even that track is okay at best.)
There’s really nothing more to this album. It has zero replay value, and isn’t even worth bumping in your car. It may be worth having on your pre-game playlist though, as the track “Let’s Go”, which features Yelawolf, Twista, Busta Rhymes and Lil Jon, is featured on the NBA2K12 soundtrack. If Travis is still interested in doing another hip-hop album, hopefully he and his collaborators get it right the second time around.