On his new album, Petals of a Rose, Frodie finds a million different adages and metaphorsincluding the roseto tell us life's too short. Here's the thing: The rose as a metaphor has withered. It's been plucked. It has faded. Let's mulch it once and for all. (Okay, I'm done.) The album also brims with sayings like "Never give up" and "Time is precious" that really belong framed on some depressed accountant's office wall, not on a rap album.
That said, the Missoula rapper from Wapikiya Records is talented, without a doubt. Sifting through some of the tired phrases, you'll find smart details about spring water journeying through the Rocky Mountains, milk and cookies, pot and Jesus. Instead of b.s.ing his way through stories about glocks and millionaire parties, Frodie embraces Montana, and that's what makes him feel real. It helps that he can spit out lyrics with speed and grace, too.
Petals of a Rose's pep talks get rather cliché, but there are more than enough fresh gems on here to make up for it. "Sunshine's Gonna Stay" is pop-errific with a soaring, catchy chorus, warm bass line, sweet piano riff and the brief but wonderful appearance of a trumpet solo. It's so delightful it makes me want to put it on repeat and sit in the sunshine with a Pabst and lemonade. On the second-to-last track, "A World of Wonders," he raps, "It's a world of wonders and I'm trapped inside. Life's too short but it's a long long ride." By the end of Petals, the metaphors don't seem so bad, partly because Frodie has imprinted the album so heavily with them it starts to feel like a well-crafted meta-conversation. And when he does forgo metaphor for straightforward imagery, that's when the album radiates. As Gertrude Stein wrote, "A rose is a rose is a rose."