Album Review: Leave It All Behind by The Foreign Exchange
Fantastic, Based on 3 Critics
AllMusic - 100 Based on rating 10/10
The second Foreign Exchange album reverses the rapping/singing split of the first. Not only is Leave It All Behind much more an R&B album than 2004's Connected -- it's more an R&B album than a lot of modern releases filed in that section, given that Phonte slips into MC mode only twice while otherwise putting his sensitive singing voice to full use. Even more nuanced and textured, and therefore more musical than Connected, Leave It All Behind is a concise and complete set of songs that brings out the best of both producer Nicolay and Phonte.
Phonte and Nicolay, the respective emcee and producer behind the Foreign Exchange, have done just what their sophomore album, Leave It All Behind, alludes to. They have left it all behind, and by “it”, I mean their debut, Connected, which was fresh, stylish, and absolutely fantastic. Although there are musical similarities to that album, the duo has jumped head first into more mature territory on Leave It All Behind.
In 2004 Little Brother frontman Phonte teamed up with Dutch producer Nicolay to create the Foreign Exchange and the critically lauded album Connected. The pair took four years to release its second album, and it's even more beautiful than its predecessor. The Foreign Exchange finds Phonte -- well known for his distinctive flow as an MC -- exploring his vocal range within Nicolay’s increasingly experimental and electronic productions.