Published Aug 26, 2014After the partying excesses of Paranoid Castle's 2011 sophomore album, Champagne Nightmares, Welcome to Success is their comedown. The tempo is slower and the emphasis is on bass, guitar and low-end synth, but Factor's dark and dynamic production is still just groovy enough to dance to. Rapper Kirby Dominant's laidback West coast flow is peppered with crooned choruses and an occasional sing-song delivery, but he gets way more introspective here.
It starts early, as Kirby realizes success doesn't bring happiness on opening track "Welcome to Success" and that he's getting older on "I Know I Know." Sandwiched between these two revelations, Kirby comes to terms with his break up on "I Don't (Really Miss You)" and later learns to live without love on "Cemetery." But seven tracks in, when Myka 9 stops by and calms things down on "Meditate," things start looking up for Kirby. He falls in love again on "I Got It For You," and final tracks "Wait For Me" and "Laughing Out Loud" are definitely danceable. The latter ends the album with a sobering understanding of how he lost it all, but not only does he plan to get it back, he's going to keep it this time. Welcome to Success is certainly a step in the right direction. (Fake Four Inc.)