May 15, 2021

Cantinela Fina - Después Del Silencio (2003)

*Se incluye una foto del disco en el archivo.
(A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file)

Country: Spain
Language: Spanish (Castellano)
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: None

© 2003 Wild Punk Records
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

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tags: cantinela fina, despues del silencio, 2003, flac,

Various Artists - Deep Concentration (1997)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop, Experimental
Label Number: 4 OMW2 39506-2 01

© 1997 OM Records
Breaking new ground in 1997, the release of Deep Concentration furthered hip-hop's turntablist movement by showcasing its brightest talents. This is primarily an instrumental album, with most of the vocals provided by a deejay's quick scratch on a piece of vinyl. Cutting tracks are abundant, like the lively selections from the X-Men, Prince Paul, and Peanut Butter Wolf with the Beat Junkies. Cut Chemist of rap group Jurassic 5 and the Latin outfit Ozomatli lends "Lesson 6 The Lecture," a bouillabaisse of drum kicks and spoken-word snippets that offer a course in turntable madness. No sample is off limits to these deejays -- everything from Tibetan monks (Radar's "Radar Frees Tibet") to water droplets (Ingrid De Lambre and Eddie Def's "Poeisies, Scene 1 Le Blues") are stunningly pieced together to form new compositions. Also includes a bonus CD-ROM mixing program.

tags: various artists, deep concentration, 1997, flac,

Various Artists - The Lawhouse Experience: Volume One (1997)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Gangsta Rap
Label Number: 72392 75625-2

© 1997 Street Life Records
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

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tags: various artists, the lawhouse experience volume one, law house, vol 1, 1997, flac,

Various Artists - Always Bigger & Better Vol. 1 (2000)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: ABB1016CD

© 2000 ABB Records
ABB Records has been putting out some of the finest hip-hop singles since its inception in 1997, and finally non-turntable owning fans have access to choice cuts from their ever growing catalogue all on one CD, Always Bigger and Better, Vol. 1. The CD features the likes of Encore, Planet Asia, and the Sound Providers, as well as Defari and Dilated Peoples (two artists who have gone on to major label success). Unsurprisingly, the best cuts on the album come from the Dilated Peoples: "Triple Optics (Funky Precedent Remix)" and "Rework The Angles" featuring Xzibit. Also included is Planet Asia's underground hit single "Place of Birth" and some production gems by Joey Chavez. If you were unable to enjoy the sounds of ABB in the past because you do not own a turntable, now is your chance to catch-up, as there's a lot you have been missing.

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tags: various artists, always bigger and better vol 1, volume 1, 2000, flac,

Various Artists - Violator: The Album V2.0 (2001)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Gangsta Rap, Pop Rap 
Label Number: 504062 2

© 2001 Violator/Loud Records
The second installment from rap overseer label Violator (distributed by Columbia sublabel Loud records) is modern rap at its most volatile and glossy. This compilation piece brings together some of rap's brightest, some of rap's neophytes, and some of rap's most thugged-out. While the iced-out set gets plenty of bad press, their product continues to bring in top dollar, proof positive that rap music is a stable investment for record companies. Even with the musical and marketing frosting, Violator, Vol. 2 does contain some marvelous rough-cut hip-hop music. The irresistible "What It Is" is a powerful combination of an electronically rippling track from Virginia-bred mega-producers the Neptunes and the intergalactic verbal antics of Busta Rhymes. The Neptunes score again with the synthetically pounding "Grimey" by the lyrically vicious Noreaga. Soundbombing also abounds on tracks like the Havoc-produced "U Feel Me"; "Options," featuring Capone and Noyd; and "Come Thru," with Styles and Noreaga. The album sticks with this slick-gangster protocol throughout but falls off musically with tracks from crossover giants like Missy Elliot, Ja Rule, and Fabolous. Also, while much of the production is sharp and focused, there are five or so tracks that could have been left on the studio floor. Despite these diluted aspects, this is a worthwhile album with a fair amount of bang for your buck.

* Due to past abuse, comments for the Hip-Hop section have been disabled. 


tags: various artists, violator the album v2.0, vol 2, 2001, flac,

Helloween - Pink Bubbles Go Ape (1991)

*U.K. first pressing. 
Contains 11 tracks total.
Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Heavy Metal
Label Number: 7960862

© 1991 EMI Records
Helloween experienced a brief period of decline in the early '90s, and it's hard to imagine that Pink Bubbles Go Ape impressed enough fans to not be a major contributing factor to this situation. With some truly bizarre titles and lyrical themes and mostly by-the-numbers operatic '80s metal, this 1991 release stands as one of the group's worst offerings. With a lineup that included vocalist Michael Kiske, drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg, guitarists Roland Grapow and Michael Weikath, and bassist Markus Grosskopf, Helloween seemed to be treading water on this unspirited disc. Low points include the goofy title track and "Heavy Metal Hamsters," which is as pointlessly plodding as its title is laughable. Kiske puts in strong performances throughout, and his bandmates do a professional job riffing and grinding away, but the tired, prosaic lyrics and songwriting box the band into seriously limited musical confines. Helloween did create some surprisingly energized and focused music during the band's '80s heyday and later in the '90s when the group became the standard-bearer for old-school power metal, but this record should be avoided by listeners with only a casual interest in the band.

tags: helloween, pink bubbles go ape, 1991, flac,

Helloween - Chameleon (1993)

*U.K. first pressing. 
Contains 12 tracks total.
Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Hard Rock, Rock
Label Number: 0 777 7 89368 2 4

© 1993 EMI United Kingdom
Along with its predecessor, Pink Bubbles Go Ape, Chameleon marked a period of personal turmoil and professional miscalculations for Helloween. The final recording to feature golden-era vocalist Michael Kiske, this 1996 recording wasn't even released in the U.S. and only served to confuse fans where it was available. While the group intelligently toned down the unexplainable attempts at humor featured on their previous recording, they still were intent on expanding their stylistic and textural boundaries. This just wasn't wise. Many bands would kill for the kind of mastery Helloween possessed over the fast-paced power metal they practically invented, and yet the group only visits familiar sonic territory on Chameleon between odd musical experiments. In and of themselves, tunes like "When the Sinner," "Crazy Cat," and "In the Night" are decent songs with fine performances. But there needed to be less of these acoustic, boogie, and synth-laden tracks and more cuts like the splendidly metallic "Giants." Only the staunchest of Helloween fans should be interested in Chameleon and its surprising variety of themes, both musical and lyrical. Newer and casual fans might want to avoid this subpar disc and stick to the classic '80s recordings.

tags: helloween, chameleon, 1993, flac,

Helloween - Master of The Rings (1994)

*U.S. first pressing. 
Contains 11 tracks total.
Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Power Metal, Heavy Metal
Label Number: CASTLE 101-2

© 1994 Castle Records
During Helloween's up-and-down recording career, fans learned to expect the unexpected. The band's songwriting and musical/thematic commitment could not always be relied upon, and the depths to which Helloween could sink were never more obvious than during the mid-'90s. During this period, the band most notoriously dumped two absolute clunkers (the ludicrously titled Pink Bubbles Go Ape and the mellowed-out Chameleon) on a large and unsuspecting metal fan base. The combined failure of these two records prompted the departure of longtime vocalist Michael Kiske and a strategic retreat by the remaining members of the group. While 1996's The Time of the Oath is generally considered the real Helloween comeback record, Master of the Rings (released a year previously) marked the actual return to metal form. "Perfect Gentleman" (the best of four singles taken from Master of the Rings) is a melodic metal highlight, as are "Where the Rain Grows" and "The Game Is On." New vocalist Andi Deris displays all the personality and skill needed to replace a near legend, and the other bandmembers grind out their riffs with efficiency. Not quite as polished or confident as The Time of the Oath, Master of the Rings still has its own appeal, and should satisfy power metal fans looking to round out their Helloween collections. [Master of the RIngs was reissued in 2006 in an expanded edition that included bonus tracks.]

tags: helloween, master of the rings, 1994, flac,

Helloween - The Time of The Oath (1996)

*U.S. first pressing. 
Contains 12 tracks total.
Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Power Metal, Heavy Metal
Label Number: CASTLE 115-2

© 1996 Castle Records
Despite the difficulties that had plagued them in recent years (including inconsistent albums, constant lineup changes, and even the suicide of founding drummer Ingo Schwichtenberg), German power metal kings Helloween had been gradually finding their way back to the glory of their early days with each succeeding release. And with their seventh album, 1996's The Time of the Oath, they pretty much arrived, delivering their best collection of songs in almost a decade and never straying from their patented Euro-metal formula. Come on, Helloween pretty much invented this stuff, and the hundreds of disciples they inspired into existence simply couldn't be wrong -- this was still an important band. The Time of the Oath adds nearly nothing new to the group's well-established sound (quasi-thrash riffing, harmony guitars, piercing chorused vocals), yet -- for the first time in years -- they manage to steer clear of the pop-metal pitfalls, corny lyrics, and forced comedy that had sunk them in the first place. Melodic moshers like "We Burn," "Steel Tormentor," and the title track lead the way, but even occasional digressions into epic songwriting ("Mission Motherland") and power balladry ("Power") are much more effective than in recent efforts. Arguably the finest moment of the band's latter-day career, The Time of the Oath also offers a fond welcome back for old-school fans who had given up on Helloween. [Time of the Oath was reissued in 2006 in an expanded edition that included bonus tracks.]

tags: helloween, the time of the oath, 1996, flac,

The Spinanes - Arches & Aisles (Advance Promo CD) (1998) ☠

*This is an advanced promo CD given to radio stations in a slipcase. 
Contains the album in its entirety with (11 tracks total.)
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Indie Rock
Label Number: SP 417 CD/LP
☠: Selected by Lass
© 1998 Sub Pop
On their third album, singer/songwriter Rebecca Gates' Spinanes lay out a more melodic and lyrically enticing platter, nearly achieving the scarred beauty that their past two efforts merely hinted at within the grooves. Gates receives more than a little help from various studio pals this time around, assisting her in her obstinate quest for indie pop splendor. Arches and Aisles appends its folky lo-fi tunes with a solid backbeat, eliminating much of the oblique posturing from past albums and focusing instead on the crispness of the songs. Gates can still be elusive at times, even cryptic in her meandering wordplay, and some of the songs still crawl around barren indie territory with nowhere to go. But the sweet and sour samples mixed into Arches and Aisles make it the Spinanes least confining, and most listenable, album. [The CD was also released with bonus tracks.]

tags: the spinanes, arches and aisles, 1998, flac, promo disc,

Various Artists - Gang Related: The Soundtrack (1997)

*U.S. first pressing. 
A photo of the 2 discs is included in the RAR file.

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop, R&B
Style: Gangsta Rap, G-Funk
Label Number: P2 53509
             ******

© 1997 Priority/Death Row Records
Considering that Gang Related happened to be the last film featuring Tupac Shakur (it also happened to star Jim Belushi, but that's another matter) -- it's no surprise that the accompanying soundtrack features nothing but gangsta rap and G-funk. By and large, it's a solid collection, but it wouldn't be considered out of the ordinary if it didn't contain some of the last cuts 2Pac completed before his untimely death. Sad to say, they're not exceptional tracks -- they merely sound like leftovers from the All Eyez on Me sessions, without much spark to the performances or imagination in the production. That same malady plagues portions of Gang Related. The soundtrack was the last major release from Death Row, slipping out shortly after Suge Knight went to jail and the label went into paralysis, and it often sounds like the work of a label and genre (G-funk) on its last moments. Not to say that it isn't without its moments. Every once and in a while, a track catches hold, whether it's from a veteran artist or a new rapper, but all the songs sound a little too similar over the course of the double-disc set. For hardcore gangstas, it may be worth sorting through the 24 songs just to own the otherwise unavailable 2Pac cuts and the other interesting tracks, but it'll be a bit too much for the average listener.

tags: various artists, gang related the soundtrack, ost, 1997, flac,

Helloween - Walls of Jericho (1986)

*U.S. first pressing. 
Contains 9 tracks total.
Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Power Metal
Label Number: 88561-8093-2

© 1986 Combat/Noise Records
Helloween followed up their very popular self-titled mini-LP with 1986's even more accomplished Walls of Jericho, a disc that saw the quartet from Hamburg, Germany, outperforming expectations and quickly defining their sonic identity. The instrumental title track soon gives way to amazingly mature and complex compositions like "Ride the Sky," "Phantoms of Death," and the awesome "How Many Tears" (even more ambitious 13-minute epics would soon follow). And although these were heavily reliant on Iron Maiden for inspiration, it was Helloween's speed metal innovations that clearly helped make the songs so special and influential for future bands. Even the album's lyrically challenged, somewhat one-dimensional moments ("Warrior," "Metal Invaders") usually succeed, thanks to the group's uncontainable energy. On the downside, the album continued to expose Kai Hansen's limitations as a singer, but the band would soon remedy this disadvantage by bringing on teenage phenom Michael Kiske as lead vocalist. [The CD reissue of Walls of Jericho offers a complete recap of Helloween's first incarnation by combining it with their eponymous mini-LP and the Judas EP in chronological order.]

tags: helloween, walls of jericho, 1986, flac,

Helloween - Keeper of The Seven Keys: Part I (1987)

*U.S. first pressing. 
Contains 9 tracks total.
Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Power Metal
Label Number: 6399-2-R

© 1987 RCA Records
Influenced by Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, Helloween specialized in blistering yet melodic heavy metal with a strong gothic orientation. On Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 1 (arguably Helloween's best album), lead vocalist Michael Kiske has no problem singing in a high, ear-splitting pitch -- often demonstrating just how great an impact Rob Halford has had on him. Although Helloween was never in a class with either Priest or Maiden, this very conceptual album is competent, enjoyable, and generally well done. There are no hormone-driven odes to women in tight dresses (a recurring theme in metal and hard rock) on Keeper; from "Future World" to "Twilight of the Gods," Helloween sticks to the type of gothic, fantasy-oriented lyrics it was known for. Helloween's contributions to metal were never outstanding, but as Keeper showcases, the band did have its moment.

tags: helloween, keeper of the seven keys part 1, 1987, flac,

Helloween - Keeper of The Seven Keys: Part II (1988)

*U.S. first pressing. 
Contains 10 tracks total.
Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Power Metal
Label Number: 8529-2-R

© 1988 Noise International
Having established an immensely influential blueprint with Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 1, Helloween released the obviously titled follow-up, Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 2, a year later. But it seemed that Helloween's heretofore leader, guitarist Kai Hansen, had lost interest in his own band, and the result was a terribly inconsistent album. Except for the excellent "I Want Out," his few song contributions reek of indifference, leaving vocalist Michael Kiske and second guitarist Michael Weikath to try and pick up the slack -- with mixed results. Weikath gets it right on the catchy and humorous "Dr. Stein," but his attempt to replicate Hansen's epic songwriting on the 13-plus-minute title track collapses from early promise into a complete mess of embarrassing proportions. Still, the album sold well, delaying the problems looming on the horizon. Hansen would confirm his apathy by quitting soon after to form Gamma Ray, and though Helloween continue to record, they have never recovered from his departure.

tags: helloween, keeper of the seven keys part 2, 1988, flac,

Helloween - Better Than Raw (1998)

*U.S. pressing. 
Contains 12 tracks total. 
A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: Germany
Language: English
Genre: Power Metal
Label Number: 63467-79736-2

© 1998 Velvet
Never quite in the spotlight yet never quite forgotten, Helloween continued to record over a decade and a half after their debut album. And to some success, actually. Granted, that success was largely limited to Europe and Japan, but it was enough to sustain the group. And, weirdly enough, through sheer existence -- continual touring and recording -- Helloween accomplished something very rare indeed for metal bands in their second decade: they actually began to improve. They never quite managed to hit the peaks of Keeper of the Seven Keys, and the youthful energy of their first albums had long disappeared, but the band continued to refine its sound and push itself into new progressive territory. Better Than Raw is proof of that and arguably their best album of the '90s. There still are silly moments -- if you're not a hardcore fan, the "metal will never die" platitudes of "Falling Higher" will rub you the wrong way -- but the music is layered and unpredictable, ranging from metal anthems to metal ballads to neo-classical metal to neo-black metal. It's an ambitious set, and it's all the more impressive coming from veterans, not a bunch of newcomers. [Better Than Raw was reissued in 2006 in an expanded edition that included four bonus tracks.]

tags: helloween, better than raw, 1998, flac,

May 14, 2021

WWF: The Music, Volume 2 (1997)

*Canadian first pressing with the original 
"WWF: World Federation" logo.
Contains 15 tracks total.
A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Theme Music
Label Number: KOC-CD-8709

© 1997 Koch International
Like its predecessor, WWF: The Music, Vol. 2 is only of interest if you're a wrestling fanatic like Bob Mould, but it's even questionable how many fans need to hear rock as sung by the likes of Shawn Michaels. Still, there's a certain campy charm to "Wild Cat," "You Start the Fire," "Mastodon," "Dude Love," and "Sexy Boy," and that's enough to sustain interest for a little while -- but by the time the 15 tracks have run their course, the entire enterprise has become a little tiring.

tags: wwf, the music volume 2, vol 2, jim johnston, 1997, flac,

The Shins - Oh, Inverted World (2001) ☠

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Indie Pop
Label Number: SPCD 550
☠: Selected by Lass
© 2001 Sub Pop
The Shins' first full-length is a definitive indie rock album of the 2000s not just because of its thoughtful, tuneful songs, but also because of the vivid portrait it painted of indie culture. After the high irony of Pavement and other '90s standard bearers, indie rock began moving into more emotionally forthright territory. Oh, Inverted World is the sound of realizing there's more to life than being a smart-aleck -- but also not being ready to open up completely. The album's first song, "Caring Is Creepy," sums up the typical indie response to emotional situations with its title alone, but it also introduces James Mercer's delicate, dryly witty take on that attitude. Hyper-literate lyrics like "It's a luscious mix of words and tricks" suggest someone who's better with words than with feelings, yet Mercer's high, wavering tones -- which are as awkward as they are beautiful -- prove otherwise. Caring might be creepy, but it's hard to avoid; the rest of Oh, Inverted World chronicles this post-ironic vulnerability, wrapping it in jangly guitar pop that echoes the Kinks, Zombies, and Beach Boys. This may not be the most innovative sound, but it makes Mercer's boy-meets-girl, boy-runs-away, boy-comes-back, girl-runs-away travails all the more familiar and relatable. And, of course, just how good the album's songs are can't be overlooked. "Know Your Onion" practically jumps out of its skin, bursting with British Invasion riffs and angst that goes way beyond adolescence; "New Slang" tempers a yearning that curdles into bitterness with a beautiful melody and a ghostly falsetto coda. More importantly, all of Oh, Inverted World's songs hang together in an immensely satisfying way. "Weird Divide" is a backyard Pet Sounds; its winding melody channels that point in the summer when it's too hot to care much about anything, punctuating it with percussion that evokes incessant sprinklers. An airy feel runs through the album, from "Girl on the Wing"'s bird imagery and pristine harmonies to "Girl Inform Me"'s giddiness to "One by One All Day"'s psychedelic coda. As things wind down, "Your Algebra"'s spooky chamber pop and "The Past and the Pending"'s acoustic musing foreshadow the experiments The Shins undertook on later albums. Oh, Inverted World is so full of ideas and emotions, and so fully realized, that it’s hard to believe it's just 33 minutes long. Whether or not the album lives up to the breathless "It’ll change your life!" claims made about it in Garden State, the less ironic direction of 2000s indie begins here.

tags: the shins, oh inverted world, 2001, flac,

Fifth Angel - Fifth Angel (1986)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Heavy Metal
Label Number: EK 44201

© 1986-1988 Epic Records
This analogy may be a tad obscure for most people to grasp (but then again, maybe not if you've made it this far), but in terms of mid-'80s Seattle metal terms, one could say that Fifth Angel was the Saxon to Queensrÿche's Iron Maiden. It's a stretch, but, like Queensrÿche, Fifth Angel delved in classic metal deeply steeped in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal style. And, on this, their eponymous release (confusingly reissued by Epic almost two years later), the band boasted admirable technical chops while wheeling out solid metal anthems like "In the Fallout" (sounding like a Saxon outtake, but a good one at that), "Fifth Angel," and the majestic "Wings of Destiny." Unlike Queensrÿche, however, they never had a chance to develop their sound, despite showing a keen eye for the commercial metal conventions of the time (see their pretty outfits and well-sculpted hair). Still, for fans of American-made classic metal, this remains an important work worth seeking out.

tags: fifth angel, fifth angel album, 1986 , flac,

Fifth Angel - Time Will Tell (1989)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Heavy Metal
Label Number: EK 45021

© 1989 Epic Records
Fifth Angel's entire disappointing career can be summed up in two words: "lowered expectations." Rarely has group of such talented musicians so debased its individual abilities in the pursuit of commercial acceptance. Underneath the mundane arrangements, pedestrian chord voicings, and exaggeratedly glossy finish applied to their albums, particularly 1989's sophomore Time Will Tell, lies a highly accomplished heavy metal band desperate to break free of its record company (and self-imposed) shackles and actually risk something...anything! But they never did, and instead of emulating the highbrow metal approach of their successful Seattle brethren Queensrÿche (clearly their intention), Fifth Angel more often resembles L.A. also-rans Dokken -- and an often less impressive version of Dokken at that. Ouch! Even when they launch off aggressive staccato riffs and made-to-order pop-metal anthems like "Midnight Love," "Wait for Me," and the preposterously corny "We Rule," they infallibly collapse into clichéd moves and intolerably cheesy choruses. Even their faithful cover of UFO's classic "Lights Out" is sanitized beyond redemption, its fierce energy squandered by -- you guessed it -- lowered expectations. A few exceptions worth noting: "Broken Dreams" is given a very beautiful acoustic introduction, "Angel of Mercy" rocks out rather convincingly, and, by the era's standards, "So Long" is a pleasantly well-executed power ballad. Unfortunately, these are hardly capable of salvaging Time Will Tell from its general morass, and few were surprised when Fifth Angel faded into oblivion after its release.

tags: fifth angel, time will tell, 1989, flac,

MF Doom - Operation: Doomsday (2001 Reissue)

*Reissued in 2001 by Sub Verse Music
This reissue replaces the track "Hero vs. Villain (Epilogue)" with 
"I Hear Voices (Part One)
Contains 19 tracks total.
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: SVM 13

© 1999-2001 Sub Verse Music 
Simultaneously hailed as an underground classic and cast aside as poorly produced backpack rap, Operation: Doomsday inaugurated the reign of MF Doom in underground rap from the early to mid-2000s. The pretext for the album is very similar to that of Marvel Comics supervillain Dr. Doom; after MF Doom, then known as Zevlove X, had been devastated by the death of his brother and K.M.D. accomplice, DJ Sub-Roc, in the early '90s, Elektra dropped his group and stopped the release of its second album, Black Bastards, due to its political message and, more specifically, its cover art. Doom was left scarred with a lingering pain that didn't manifest until the late '90s as hip-hop's only masked supervillain on Bobbito Garcia's Fondle 'Em Records. Carrying the weight of the past on his shoulders, Doom opens and closes Operation: Doomsday with frank and sincere lyrics. In between, however, many of the villain's rhymes are rather hard and piercing. On his subsequent material, he developed a more steady and refined delivery, but on this debut, Doom was at his rawest and, lyrically, most dexterous. The out-of-left-field edge of Doom's production -- which features '80s soul and smooth jazz mixed with classic drum breaks -- is indeed abstract at times, but his off-kilter rhymes are palatable and absent any pretentiousness. In fact, the album arguably contains some of the freshest rhymes one might have heard around the time of its release. There are more than enough obscure but fun references (i.e. "quick to whip up a script like Rod Serling" on "Go with the Flow" or "MCs, ya style needs Velamints" on "Dead Bent") and quotable jewels from the "on-the-mike Rain Man" to feed on. Nevertheless, one would be hard-pressed to overlook the low-budget mixing that mars some of the LP's presentation. For the hardcore Doom fans, the recorded-in-the-basement quality is appealing and representative of his persona as the underdog who "came to destroy rap." In contrast, given his contributions to hip-hop during the 2000s, the masked villain offers this explanation on "Doomsday": "Definition: supervillain/A killer who loves children/One who is well-skilled in destruction as well as buildin'." Even though this album is certainly not for everyone, you can easily respect from where the man is coming.

* Due to past abuse, comments for the Hip-Hop section have been disabled. 


tags: mf doom, operation doomsday, 2001, reissue, flac,

MF Doom (Viktor Vaughn) Vaudeville Villain (2003)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: TEG 2409/SIK 012

© 2003 Sound-Ink/Traffic Entertainment Group
Daniel Dumile (aka MF Doom) concluded a prolific 2003 with this paranoiac collection of warped city tales, released under the alter ego Viktor Vaughn. Having relegated production duties to a committee consisting of RJD2 and relative unknowns King Honey, Heat Sensor, and Max Bill, Dumile's full attention is left for the mike. With his mush-mouthed delivery as currency, the charismatic MC delivers a phone book of impressionistic rhyme trails, barmy anecdotes, and twisted punchlines that siphon humor into the grayest scenarios. Vaudeville Villain's story-raps are just as brilliantly spun -- the immaculate "Let Me Watch" features Apani B Fly guesting as Vaughn's vestal romantic foil and ends on a note that strikes just the right balance between Vaughn's comedic and sordid qualities. Grubby and excitable, the album's production is no less superb, with RJD2's "Saliva," Heat Sensor's "Never Dead," and King Honey's title track standing out as high points. Dense, bright, and packed with ideas, Vaudeville Villain is Dumile at his absolute best.

* Due to past abuse, comments for the Hip-Hop section have been disabled. 


tags: mf doom, vaudeville villain, 2003, flac,