Beans, the least fluid voice of Anti-Pop Consortium, has used his solo career to continue exploring his love for skewed rhyme patterns. His is a thinking-man's approach to vocal acrobatics, one that works best weaving through equally innovative beats, which Beans provided himself on past solo efforts. For his latest album, End it All, Beans has relinquished control over the beatmaking and has instead enlisted a group of marquee producers—including Four Tet, In Flagranti, Clark, and many others—to provide the music for his raps. But despite the generally solid instrumentals and creative lyricism available, those two elements rarely mesh well.
At the beginning of "Electric Birth," produced by Interpol's Sam Fogarino, Beans says, "Sam, we good? It's good, right?" It implies the two worked together in a studio, but as the track continues, the voice and music sound less and less interrelated. Truth is, we never hear Fogarino respond. Whether or not Beans is actually talking to Sam isn't too important because, regardless, it doesn't feel like they made "Birth" together, and that feeling plagues the album.
End it All amounts to a meager 33 minutes, but it does retain a few moments of superior, forward-thinking hip-hop. The booming polyrhythms of the Tortoise-produced "Electric Eliminator" and Tobacco's bubbling analog fuzz on "Glass Coffins" both make ideal homes for the MC. Still, more often than not, Beans comes off like an intrusive guest on his own record.