On Young Miss America, his debut full-length as Gold Chains after a series of well-received EPs, Lafata demonstrates how effective this approach can be -- but he also reveals its built-in limitations. His prowess with his chosen hardware and software is indisputable: The tracks here are built on a standard booty-bass foundation of digital boom-bap, but nearly every one deviates from form in some ear-catching way, be it a ribbon of electric piano hung over a slithering bass line, a sudden interlude of ye olde music-hall bounce, or a menacing blast of those outmoded electric guitars. But as a persona, Gold Chains is hard to take for an entire album. His winking delivery and gravel-gargling flow, so singular in small doses, become as exhausting as Ja Rule in this setting. Lafata's is the same dilemma faced by Prince Paul and Majesticon Mike Ladd on their recent discs: How do you make a point about pointlessness -- even if that's your point?
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