3/18: RJD2 at Grog Shop

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After 2002’s Dead Ringer, producer RJD2 fell off the radar. His latest album, The Colossus, doesn’t exactly pick up where Dead Ringer left off — there’s more emphasis on funk and soul — it suggests why RJD2 got into hip-hop in the first place. RJD2’s music has always been cinematic in scope. Instrumentals like the blaxploitation-soundtrack-ready “Let There Be Horns,” the shuffling, bombastic funk of “Giant Squid” and the sci-fi club-bounce of “A Spaceship for Now” are widescreen mindblowers. The variety of sounds keeps the tracks fresh and intriguing. Guest-vocal tracks — like “Crumbs Off the Table”’s big-band soul and the synth-saturated hip-hop of “A Son’s Cycle” — are equally captivating. A few songs (“Games You Can Win,” “The Glow”) disappoint because RJD2’s music acts more as a backdrop than a focus point. But even they can’t disrupt the album’s otherwise energetic and detailed flow. He plays the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Hts. Blvd., Cleveland Hts., 216.321.5588), with Break Science and Happy Chichester opening at 9 p.m. Tickets: $15 advance, $17 day of show. — Matt Whelihan

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