Iller Than Theirs – Iller Than Theirs

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It's a breath of fresh mountain scented Febreze when Iller Than Theirs comes across as advertised: a sort of family affair, with various producers, guest MCs and a few dogs all contributing pieces in a heartwarmingly communal process. We're pushing for some WB prime time licensing. “Here’s to futons, pull-outs, and sectionals,” toasts co-MC Tone Tank near the top of his verse on the feel good jam “Good People”. Brooklyn nostalgia head-check “The Same” strikes a similar, amiable tone with a mellow, horn-propelled track and a guest appearance from the venerable Masta Ace. Beyond that accessible feel, the group also deserves credit for its authentic Brooklyn flavor by way of a Grand Army Plaza name check and a very timely lament about the Manhattanization of the borough’s downtown district.

“Lo-Top Sneakers” finds Krayo and Tone Tank riding the beat like bikes going downstairs, making Close Encounters of the Third Kind/mashed potato sculpture references while they’re at it. The glowing, soft focus album closer “Wash, Rinse, Repeat” brings to mind some of the shiny production on Kanye West’s Late Registration, and a brilliant carousel organ sample spices up the slightly overwrought “Razorbumps”.

That’s how it goes on Iller Than Theirs: the album goes down too easy on most tracks to worry about the scattered dead spots (lyrics occasionally shoehorned on the beat, the mushy production on deep cut “Splash”). True, Iller Than Theirs isn’t perfect in the technical sense, but it shows a lot of heart. And besides, “technical sense” would never consent to crash on the futon.