When used properly (and in most cases, sparingly), auto-tune can be a nice tool to enhance a song. Its overusage has become an epidemic that has robbed much of today's music of real quality. Since you can use it to gain popularity without even having to try, it's become more popular in modern pop and hip hop in the mainstream, and also in the independent music circuit. Here's where James Larrick comes in. Going by the name Jimbo Rocko, he's created a five-song EP called Future Sounds that is geared towards the party scene, with music that could fit very well in any dance club. He's certainly crafted decent party songs, but do they stand up to a quality test? Not so much. All of Jimbo's vocals are completely drowned in auto-tune, and when they're added to the corny vocal patterns it can be more obnoxious than anything else. The lyrics, though they touch on good topics, are poorly-written. "Show Me Love" is good, simply asking God why He keeps forgiving, but after that there's not much on the songs that stand out. "Shawty Wanna Know" is an overly cliche song with a club beat and a guest appearance by Jaylee, who sounds like this might be his first endeavor in hip hop. His verse in "More To Life," along with Hun Dread Proof's verse, have a huge amateur feel, and take the EP out on a weak note. Making a batch of quality club-flavored songs with Christian overtones doesn't seem like something easy to accomplish, so I have to give Jimbo Rocko some credit for the attempt, but in the end, these aren't the sounds of the future, but the overdone (and more well-accomplished) sounds of today.
- Review date: 4/13/10, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com