As promised in last night’s post, here’s a more in-depth review of Ronald Jenkees self-titled debut album.
The album starts out with one of my favorite songs, which is a great song all unto itself, but gets extra points for introducing Bill Simmons’s podcast. It’s been a lot of fun watching this song progress from his YouTube video to a more refined version posted on his blog to this album cut. Since Ronald describes this song so well, I’ll let him take over:
“It’s got a real dirty sound, like a rusty steak knife cutting through a well aged steak.”
Damn right it does RJ. Who needs soap when dirty sounds this good?
Ronald switches gears from the viciously loud Derty to the slow and gentle cascades of Neptune. Though it’s a bit slow for my tastes, it has been growing on me. The synthesized violin on this track and Ronald’s mad piano skills complement each other so well you’d think there’s two other musicians in the room with him. Nope. It’s all Jenkees!
Canon in D Remix
Whoah, this track starts off sounding like quaint ballroom music and turns into a steadily building crescendo of synthesized guitar, piano and violin. You start off thinking what the heck Ronald and before you know it you’re playing air guitar. A soaring stroll through a synthesized land of rocking out.
Jenkees drops the glassy beats quickly and cleverly. Constantly tantalizing with what seems like a million glasses of water, being banged away on by a small army of clinkers.
Is it just me, or would this song sound right at home in a Japanese role playing game, along the lines of Final Fantasy? Though it’s not quite my cup of techno-ish tea, the song builds to a fiery and rousing electronic symphony.
The Rocky Song Remixed
This song just might get Slyvester Stallone to make another Rocky movie, which actually makes it lose one point. Rocky Balboa was OK but it’s got to STOP!
Some marketing company is going to offer Ronald buckets of cash to use the first 30 seconds of this beat in a commercial. Luckily for us, the rest of the track is just as good. A catchy beat with diverse enough changes to keep your interest over the whole track. Love the tapping of keys on a keyboard. Tippity tap tap!
The Sunfish Song
Ronald Jenkees comes at it hard on this song, with a thundering piano and thriving bass, this track is pleasantly chaotic. His talent at manipulating the piano to his mind’s content shines on this track.
My comment yesterday, “A slow jaunt through a dreary landscape with hopeful peaks” explains it pretty well. Ronald takes us on a techno-ish journey here and builds and drops the mood of the song continuously while still maintaining a coherent vibe of hope.
Funky, energetic and soulful. Smooth from start to finish, like a nice cold beer after a long day’s work, this song just makes you plain feel good. A synthesized saxophone casually pokes in through Ronald’s smooth piano notes and warm beats. It’s got the feel of a salsa song which the soul of a blues song, it’s one of my favorites from start to finish.
Remix to a Remix
Begging for a talented hip-hop lyricist, this beat is hot.
Almost Undamaged – So good I bought it twice. It’s the perfect beat for walking around your city or neighborhood on a warm summer afternoon, there’s thing this called soul that is sorely lacking from many modern musicians, but gigabytes of Ronald’s comes through on this track. Parts of the song have this clapping type noise that almost sounds like a train chugging along down the tracks, and that seems to be the flow of the song, to keep pushing forward, because everything is all right.
Please hold my calls cuz I’m using the phone
Dial up modem analog connection.
Rap about 56K modems = comedic genius. Nuff said.
Ain’t No Thang
Here Ronald takes a look at rap culture, laid over a classic hard southern beat. Ronald pokes fun at the extravagant rappers who rap about their blinged out cars and piles of cash by rapping about his situation:
My cash, my jewels, my car it ain’t no thing
We also see Ronald can’t afford no speeding tickets:
Tapping on my brakes to the sound of my beats
I got the red lights blinking at the sight of the heat
Ronald’s not gonna win any awards for his rapping, but it’s all about having fun and it’s easily apparent he’s having a blast on this song.
Nuh uh. You cant coax me to floss.
Even though Jenkees doesn’t sample music, he does get a lot of inspiration from The Neptunes beat on Drop it Like It’s Hot on this track. Synthesized tongue clicks…wow.
[Edit: Ronald corrected me on a few of the lyrics and I thought I’d post it here for accuracy’s sake: “The real lyrics: tappin on my breaks to the sound of this heat (just meant the heat coming off the track)..can’t coax me to flow (can’t trick me into rapping) But don’t change a thing (unless you want to). The lyrics don’t make much sense anyways, and it still makes me laugh!!” Thanks Ronald!]
As the scores above show, there are no duds on this album. The YouTube videos and Ronald’s blog previews gave us all expectations about this album and built the hype to epic proportions. Ronald smashes past all those expectations and delivers a soulful, energetic record of thoughtful beats. He says it’s all about having fun, but there is a level of authenticity streaming throughout these beats that shows thought rarely seen in today’s commercialized music world.
Ronald says more here with his beats than many artists say over their whole careers. He pours himself into his music and shares it with us all, hoping we’ll like it but not catering to us. Well, Ronald, we love it! If anything, it’s not enough fun! You’ve got the album down, now it’s time for the Ronald Jenkees world tour!
The Ronald Jenkees self-titled debut album is available at
the music store on his blog Amazon.com for the bargain price of $10 $8.99, with individual tracks price at $1. Check it out now!
16 responses to “Not Too Much Fun: A Review of the Ronald Jenkees Debut Album”
I’ve been saying this for months, since I first discovered RJ thru Bill Simmons. Ronald is simply the greatest thing that ever lived. Simple as that. Who else can post a snippet of him on a roller coaster, or hunting a birdsnake, or the wonder of properly placed laundry soap and have it be so riveting? Everything he does is magic, as they say. Before I ran into his youtubes I had never listened to hip-hop, can’t stand it really. Or rap. But with RJ, I’m into both. Hail to the king…
Wow David…I wouldn’t go that far(“greatest thing that ever lived”), but yes he is an amazing music producer!
In terms of music, your comment “Everything he does is magic, as they say” is wicked true, he’s yet to put out a bad song; quite amazing considering he’s put out over 40 songs (via his album and his youtubes). In my humble opinion, having other artists on his next CD to rapping and singing over his beats would be insanely awesome. As it stands, Ronald is certainly worthy of a Grammy for the beats on this album.
“Who wants to play Balderdash?” – Ronald Jenkees
Thanks for stopping by David.
Good review. Sounds like you are just as enthusiastic about this album as I am. I reviewed it a few days ago as well and also did an interview with Ronald.
Great review, I see your a big fan of Almost Undamaged too, what an amazing track…though, all of them are great. Totally agree with you that there is some serious soul flowing through this album. Great interview too.
Thanks Adam. Ronald was a great interview-ee 🙂 Nearly all those questions were submitted by our readers which was pretty cool.
I found him though Youtube and He is a great pianist and producer! Mos tlikely going to be famous soon if he keeps htis up
I agree wholeheartedly, Phu. With Ronald’s talent, there really is no limit. It’s quite easy to imagine him producing scores for movies and beats for hip-hop artists.
Anyone who hasn’t yet should definitely check out Michael’s interview with RJ…he’s a very down to earth guy.
[…] post from Adam Pieniazek falls into two categories, as it is a review of the self-titled debut album of Ronald Jenkees, an unsigned artist. Ronald has quickly become an internet phenomenon through his YouTube videos […]
If “Aint no thang” had been sung by rappers who are already popular — same lyrics, everything — it would have been a HUGE hit.
“Comin’ down to the Marriott, don’t care if ya see me or not!”
For sure Phil. If Ronald’s beats were combined with an established rapper he’d be all over the airwaves. I’m actually surprised no artist out there approached Ronald about collaborating.
just a little correction, for aint no thang u quoted “Nuh uh. You cant coax me to floss.”
if im thinking of the same part of the song as you, its:
“nuh uh no, you cant coach me to flow”
if i mixed up 2 parts feel free to spam me with hate mail
You’re sort of right Mark. Ronald sent in an edit to my version of the lyrics a while back. The edit is above in the post, but for clarity, here are the offical lyrics, straight from Mr. Jenkees:
“tappin on my breaks to the sound of this heat (just meant the heat coming off the track)..can’t coax me to flow (can’t trick me into rapping) But don’t change a thing (unless you want to). The lyrics don’t make much sense anyways, and it still makes me laugh!! Thanks Ronald!]”
Thanks though, seems even Ronald is mixed up on the lyrics!
Adam Pieniazeks last blog post..Boston Bicycle Film Festival Tomorrow
Ronald will be big in the music industry very soon, it’s guaranteed. Almost Undamaged is the defining moment of the first CD in my opinion, and his second CD will be 5 times better than the first, which is hard to believe because his debut album kicked so much ass.
I agree Nu, can’t wait for his second album to drop!
Here is the new video for Ronald Jenkees’ “Loui”
Is this an official Jenkees video? It’s cool nevertheless but
wonderinghoping if he’s now pumping out videos to go with his music.