CD Review: Science

Symphonic Logic (self-released)

In the track "Matter of Rhyme," Science (Douglas Houston) refers to his lyrics as "top shelf." With lines like that, you might dismiss the guy as another local rapper who thinks too highly of his skills, but he's extremely articulate and steers clear of all the usual profane clichés. He's got good taste in beats, too, and raps over instrumentals he's pilfered from the likes of Dr. Dre, Jedi Mind Tricks and Alchemist. "Evolved" features some trippy, DJ Shadow-like beats over which Science spits out lyrics about "rhymes from the streets." He gets a little carried away in the album-closing "216 Shoutz Out," a ballad in which he references numerous Cleveland neighborhoods, but even though that might not make for great music, it demonstrates his hometown pride, and you can't fault him for that. – Jeff Niesel