Prodigy (of Mobb Deep) – Return of the Mac
Koch Records (3/27/07)
Hi, I’m Jeff, and it’s very good to see that Prodigy still cares about hip-hop, despite the fact that the last few Mobb Deep albums were absolute garbage. For this, his second solo album, he managed to snag The Alchemist for production on the whole thing, and that, ladies and germs, is a damn good start. And it seems as if he knew that was a good way to get back the fan-base that was pissed away with the more recent Mobb Deep albums, since the promo posters brag: “PRODUCED ENTIRELY BY THE ALCHEMIST.” Combine that with the fact that there are virtually no cameos, and this album kicks major ass. “Stuck on You”, the vanguard single, combines the perfect mix of lyrical genius with a fantastic beat, a trend which continues throughout the entire thing. Stone the crows. Hip-hop is alive and well, it appears, after all.
Hi, I’m Jeff’s cat, and seeing as I am neither fat nor bitter, I am not a rip-off of anything. To tell you the truth, ever since I had my nutsack snipped off, I haven’t really been much into rap or hip-hop. Moreover, the bass does terrible things to my bowel, but by the way Jeff is nodding his head, I’m going to guess that it’s good. I really hope that crappy Indian kid gets voted off of American Idol because even though I can’t really understand what’s going on on television programs, I know when something sucks.
Mélée – Devils & Angels
Warner Bros. (4/3/07)
I’m not sure if the name of this band is supposed to be officially set with the diacritics, but since I happen to like diacritics, so be it. From the looks of the album cover, I’d presume that this band would be a Rusted Root wannabe. Not so much. It’s safe, unthreatening pop rock for sorority girls and guys who want to score with them. “Built to Last” is destined… DESTINED, I tells ya, to be included in some scene on One Tree Hill where two teenagers realize that they should have f*cked a long time ago and find each other in a crowded airport, just before one of them was supposed to ship out to join the Peace Corps. It’s not bad, but it isn’t anything particularly thought-provoking.
This album is so non-threatening that the only thing that startled me throughout the entire thing was when Jeff sneezed. This album is kind of like 9Lives Real Flaked Tuna & Cheese Bits in Sauce—not quite as bad as eating the house plants, but not nearly as good as 9Lives Tender Nibbles with Real Salmon & Crab in Gravy.
The Almost – Southern Weather
Tooth & Nail/Virgin (4/3/07)
Christian metal-core/screamo band Underoath’s drummer Aaron Gillespie decided to start his own band, and this one’s luckily a lot less screamy, though the music still has a definite hard edge to it. Similarities to the Foo Fighters have been made, and though I’m not sure if I would have the correlation on my own, I can see it a little. Most of the songs are hard-charging alt-rock pieces, with the obligatory ballad in “Dirty and Left Out”. Meh. This is much more tolerable then most of that emo garbage, and while it certainly has hints of said garbage, nothing is too whiny to make me want to jab my brain with a Q-Tip. As a whole, not bad at all.
TOO LOUD! YEEEOW!!! This scares me, almost as much as the vacuum cleaner, but not as much as the Fourth of July. I do believe I’m going to go hide under the bed now, but not before throwing up on the carpet to show my disdain for loudness.
Nine Inch Nails – “Me I’m Not”
From the Interscope Records release, Year Zero (4/17/07)
Stream it on MySpace
I really hate comparing new Nine Inch Nails song to older Nine Inch Nails songs, but this reminded me a bit of “The Wretched”, from the slow beat to the general pace of the song, though this one never really gets angry at all. And in that respect it successfully differentiates itself from “The Wretched”, which is anger-rific. it does do some stuff that we’ve not heard before from the band, and is an excellent chill-out track. It certainly sounds more like something that Leftfield or FC Kahuna would do featuring Trent Reznor, as opposed to an actual Nine Inch Nails songs. In fact, I would really like to see what a talented stripper could do to this song, as the combination of the tempo and sexy beat is just right.
While I’m not quite intelligent enough to notice subtle nuances and compare this to other songs or genres, I can tell you that it’s actually very soothing, and would be something that I could see myself falling asleep to. Then again, I sleep about 16 hours out of the day, so chances are I could probably fall asleep to anything besides that album by The Almost. I also like to play with string and drink out of the toilet.