Thursday, February 17, 2011

Album Review: Saigon - The Greatest Story Never Told

1.Station Identification (Intro)
2. The Invitation   9.5                   
3. Come On Baby  9.0
4. War
5. Bring Me Down Pt. 2  8.5
6. Enemies 7.5
7. Friends  7.5
8. The Greatest Story Never Told  7.5
9. Clap feat. Faith Evans   6.5
10. Preacher   5.5
11. It’s Alright  7.0
12. Believe It  7.5
13. Give It To Me  5.5
14. What The Lovers Do  6.5
15. Better Way  6.5
16. Oh Yeah (Our Babies) 8.0

If i remember correctly, around the time Baby first came out and The Greatest Story Never Told was being hyped for release (yes, something like 2 years ago) it was said that the album was going to be completely produced by Just Blaze, and around 11 tracks long. That's what this album should have been. As it stands the album has too much filler and it's the production alone that really stops the album from turning into an inconsistent mess. A lot of those tracks you see that received 6.5/7 ratings are buyoed up by the production. Just Blaze is really the star of this album and he put in some of his best work on this release, The Invitation, Baby - one of the best commercial beats i've heard in a minute - and The Greatest Story Never Told are all incredibly well produced.

The chorus work on the album's a bit of a mixed bag. Bring Me Down's chorus is brilliant as is Believe It's, auto-tuned or not. I actually really enjoyed Swizz Beatz chorus on Baby as well. Then You have choruses where Saigon attempts to create some form of melody....and fails abysmally. Whoever told him to lends his voice to the choruses on Clap and GSNT should be shot as his tone-deaf-ass ruins those two otherwise great choruses. The abundant intro's/outro's/interludes had similarly mixed results. Clap was one of the let downs in that category while 'Oh Yeah's'  sample pretty much made the song (I got a real distinct vibe of The Wire from this).

'An Vietnam, them people came back crazy. I live in Vietnam; what you think i'm a be if i'm livin it an they just went an visited?
As for Saigon, he was hit or miss throughout. At times he did a good job of combining battle rap with social and political commentary. At other times his verses were just generic and basic. I particularly liked his little stories he threw into a couple of tracks such as the second verse of invitation. A couple of times he delves into a lil' self analysis as well and does a good job of commenting on his past and how that effected who he was and who he is today.
Probably think what you did to me was sweet, laughing at me like 'hehehe'
Fallin for your trickery and deceit
Don't flatter yourself, it don't take a genius to spell 'thug'
convince a kid at the mere age of 12 to sell drugs'  
The majority of his best work is found in the first half of the album. In the second half you find mostly uninspired rapping such as Give It To Me or Preacher where he took a one verse topic and decided to repeat it over 48 bars.

Miscellaneous Points:
- For whatever reason, Saigon seems to have left some of his best material off the album. Too Long would probably have been the second or third best track on the album and the Bring Me Down remix is superior to the original and includes one of Saigon's best verses.

- Jay-Z was really weak on Baby, he sounded like he couldn't keep up with the beat and was struggling not to be drowned out by it.

- Wasn't a fan of Q-Tip's chorus on The Invitation. His voice wasn't 'hype' enough for that beat and one of my pet peeves are choruses that consist of nothing but shoutouts.

For all that the review sounds pretty negative it was still a good album. Depending on how much emphasis you place on either lyricism or production the album could vary from weak to great.

tl;dr version: Great Production. Saigon himself was inconsistent and ranged from great to mediocre. Album starts off really well and falls off halfway through.

Highlights: The Invitation, Baby, Bring Me Down pt.2

Lowlights: Preacher, Give It To Me

Rating: 72

Further Listening: If you liked this check out his album with Statik Selektah, All In A Days Work. It's of a similar standard.

Note: No I didn't arrive at the rating by just averaging the scores of the individual tracks, not a fan of rating albums like that. 

Previously: Saigon - Bring Me Down pt.3 ft. Joe Budden | Saigon - Too Long ft. Black Thought


  1. I think your comments are little of. Having never heard any of his music before I really enjoy this album. Baby was wack, you liked it. And give it to me was good. I gave this CD the car test Wich is the only was to review music.

  2. The car test is retarded and not a way of reviewing music at all. I'd rather sit down with headphones and be able to focus on the music properly. If you read the review properly you would see I actually did enjoy the album, a score of 72 is fairly high.