Irv Da Phenom
Rejection from American Idol is no career breaker. Among the millions of contestants who try out and fail, there are always a few who gain star status upon being guillotined by Simon Cowell’s razor-sharp wit. Call it American Schadenfreude. The country loves these would-bes. The title of Irv Da Phenom’s newest album, American Idol Reject, conjures morbid curiosity. What does failure sound like? As the Wyandotte County-bred singer and rapper croons his way through each of the album’s 25 tracks, the answer is clear: Failure sounds like sex. To be fair, Irv does cover more topics than knocking boots. He occasionally raps (“The Otha Side”), dusts off the vocoder (“Stay Fly”), and seems wary of producing a sound that might be considered soft. But these are fleeting interludes, locker-room chat with the boys. Irv finds his stride when he’s belting it out, dropping sexed-up vocals for the ladies, such as on “So Cold” and “Chopped and Skrewed.” If failure sounded more like these moments, unemployment would be orgasmic.