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Album Review – P-Tek: Oh! What a Miracle

P-Tek
Oh! What A Miracle!
ptekmusic.com

P-Tek (Adam Protextor) makes me feel old, since he’s a friend of my son, Sean. You might know Adam from his involvement with the Resist Evil horror movie, which starred another Iowa City hip-hop head, Coolzey. Adam’s verbal gymnastics and bent sense of humor, in full effect on Oh! What A Miracle! owes a debt to Coolzey and his Sucker MCs posse, but he’s cinematically deranged in his own special way.

Oh! What A Miracle!
is chock full of hilarious rudeness, set to beats by Samlive & Krang. “True Romance” stands out as the single, with a great vocal hook sung by Esther Lavonne, a song about a player falling in love against his will. This is some great dance pop, borrowing Prince’s synth lines and even name-checking “Little Red Corvette.” Of course he also cops a line from Buzz Lightyear, and the fade-out is a ridiculous ad-lib about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but that’s just how P-Tek rolls. Even so, “True Romance” beats “Bad Romance” any day.

“Don’t Let Me Fade Away” is anchored by a stand-up bass and a crunchy, hard-swung beat. “How did I become a split personality? I used to murder ciphers now it’s me battling me” pits P-Tek against himself, making high comedy of narcissism and self-defeat. “Meiko Kaji” is another dancey raver with P-Tek where he declaims “I’m flying on stage and crawling on land I’m buying my way with pockets of grandiose posturing and I’m buying my verses with pockets full of punchlines.”

The title track closes the CD, beginning with spooky synths and horror movie sound effects, then kicking into a dub-steppy beat and telling a sort of fractured Adam-and-Eve myth. “I used to hate what I saw but I love it with distaste.” With such ambivalence as a recurring theme, this CD is one glorious trainwreck of P-Tek boasting like he’s supposed to, but at the same time worrying he’ll end up like an old lady counting out change.

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