[Album Review] Icebird (rjd2 & Aaron Livingston) - 'The Abandoned Lullaby'

About a year ago, Electronic/Hip Hop mastermind RJD2 (or rjd2) released his last solo effort The Colossus. While doing promo for the album, he revealed in an interview that he was working on a new project with vocalist Aaron Earl Livingston, that was along the format of producer/singer groups like Broken Bells, Gnarls Barkley, etc. The album that came from the pairing, The Abandoned Lullaby would be a return to form for RJ, giving him the ability to focus solely on production while Livingston provided his captivating vocals to RJ's musical landscape.

For those that haven't heard of Aaron prior to Icebird, he is the vocalist of east coast (Philly, NY, Jersey) band The Mean and is better known for his guest vocals on The Roots "Guns Are Drawn" off their album The Tipping Point or even his recent guest feature on Icebird partner RJD2's "Crumbs Off The Table" from The Colossus, which we consider to be the groups first official track. I'm pretty sure most of you know RJD2, but for those that don't, RJ was considered to be the next DJ Shadow after dropping the sample layering, experimental, instrumental debut Deadringer, but broke away from the typecast after dropping albums like the critically acclaimed (and my favorite record) Since We Last Spoke, RJ's first full vocal record The Third Hand, The Colossus and We Are The Doorways which he released earlier this year under the moniker The Insane Warrior. RJ has also had his share of collaborative projects aside from Icebird, which include the collaborative hip hop group Mhz, Soul Position w/Blueprint, Aceyalone and an upcoming collaboration with SKoA favorite Kenna, as well as production and remix credits for a lot of big name artists (google it).

Speaking of production, fans of RJD2 beats will definitely enjoy The Abandoned Lullaby and cuts like the recently released single "Charmed Life" and other big beat tracks like "I'm Green" (which sounds like the lovechild of an RJD2 x N*E*R*D and The Black Keys collaboration), "Wander" and "Gun For Hire" which production relates to RJ's Since We Last Spoke up to his most recent effort The Colossus. However, the overall feel of the record is a wonderful hybrid of Rock, Soul and Hip Hop in which Aaron Livingston's soulful vocals mix perfectly with RJ style of music direction. Aside, from the tracks previously listed for fans of RJ beats, the album also featured many stand out efforts that fans of all genres would love like my personal favorite, the soulful "Just Love Me", as well as tunes like the rock heavy debut Icebird track "Going and Going. And Going.", "King Tut", "Please, Don't" and the album's closer "Find Yourself."

In an ever growing genre of Soul/Hip-Hop artist (i.e. Cee-Lo, John Legend, Mayer Hawthorne, Aloe Blacc, Janelle Monae, etc.) Icebird make their mark with their stand out debut record The Abandoned Lullaby. For fans of RJ, it is another excellent addition to his already impressive discography and for fans of good music, make sure you check out the this wonderful soulful record which is one of our favorite records of the year thus far. Therefore, were giving this record a 4.5 out of 5 Awesome Sauces, for its excellent display of audio pleasure. You can hear the album in full over at AOL for a limited time and if you dig it make sure you "Find Yourself" a copy when the album drops tomorrow, October 11th.

01 Charmed Life
02 Just Love Me
03 Going and Going. And Going.
04 King Tut
05 Wander
06 The Return of Tronson
07 Spirit Ache
08 I'm Green
09 Gun for Hire
10 In Exile
11 Please, Don't
12 Find Yourself