"Misleading," the lead cut from Subb-an's Crosstown Rebels bow, takes nine minutes to play out, but every time I put it on I feel like I'm missing something. It's big sounding, it builds like an anthem, but it doesn't impact like one—whenever I try to bear down on it, it fades away, not usually a good sign even for records that go for dramatic backdrop more than they do hook power. Late in the proceedings, when Anomaly Jonez moans, "Smack my face/Up against the wall," I perk up—what's going on here? Then the track ends. Until the right DJ convinces me otherwise—and never say never—it feels like an anticlimax.
Structurally, "Positive Expression" seems a lot more aimless than "Misleading," yet it moves with a lot more purpose. Here, Jonez's sung refrain ("You take me to a higher place / You can tell when you take me") is filtered so heavily that figuring out which parts are words and which are overdubbed inhalations is part of the draw—not to mention that all of Subb-an's processing makes her sound more male than female. But the track moves more urgently than the A, thanks to a crisp hi-hat/conga interweave as well as subtly dramatic pads and patient bass, and that adds heft to Jonez's ghostly presence.
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Tracklist: Subb-an feat. Anomaly Jonez - Misleading A Misleading
B Positive Expression