Album Recording and Mixing 101 states that when putting together an album, you always start with the best tracks and end with the best tracks. The logic, of course, is that you want to catch people’s attention right away and because we are a society that has a hard time focusing for long periods—and short periods—of time, you wake folks back up after they have fallen asleep during the middle of your record.
With this, it is strange to note that Cathartic Resume, the debut album by Jersey native DRK, only gets better as it goes along. The opening tracks sound like they’re from an opening act that’s not really ready for primetime: not really polished, not really interesting, just there to pass the time until the headliner comes out.
Listening to Cathartic Resume in its entirety, it’s as if DRK (stands for Don’t Really Know), didn’t have any real plan for this album, so he put the songs down in the order in which he recorded them. As his skills progressed during this process, you can hear an improvement within the production and lyrically as the album goes on.
Cathartic Resume works best when DRK is working with others. “Daily Hustle,” with Phobia and O2 is full of passion and life. “It’s Impossible,” with Big Cas, is the album’s best cut. Its beats and rhymes are delivered on point. “Days and Nights” featuring normal, and “What I’m All About” featuring Des Shawn’a & Sentence, are also very good rap records. “It’s Only Begun” and “Music: Life’s True Inspiration” show DRK’s love for the game and explore his rather expansive musical past; which includes a history of Jimmy Hendrix, Fred Astaire, and Green Day. However, samples like the ones used on “Wanderer” and “Break From Reality” don’t really work well here.
And anyway, it was Jay-Z, Remedy, Mos Def, Slug, and others that inspired this kid born David Wander to pick up a mic and go for delf. He’s still got a ways to go before he is considered among their peer group; he’s no Eminem, but he’s no Robbie Van Winkle, either. His Only Option Records release is a testament to hard work and tenacity. Plus, he has youth on his side and plenty of time to grow.