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ISSUE
  Thursday
171
  April 8
2004
c o n t e n t s
 
 

Reviving Royal Sin: Strong Performances Bring 'The Duchess of Malfi' to Life

Utah Ballet Focuses on What's Best
Parker Played it Rite
 

Remember Thornton, Forget 'The Alamo
'

Take a Peep at 'The Girl Next Door'
 
 
   
  RED rating system
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    Damn Fine
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    Mediocre
    Ugly
 

 theBeat
 
RED Reviews
 
by Brent Sallay, Tyler Bloomquist and Autumn Thatcher

Madvillainy
Madvillain (ft. MF Doom & Madlib)
Stones Throw

BRENT: So Tyler, have you heard the new Madvillain, Madvillainy? It’s MF Doom and Madlib recording stuff back and forth, remixing each other’s ideas. I thought it would be good to get your take on it. I thought we could write a review like that and maybe it would end up as good as this album did. I’ll be DOOMoom and you can be Madlib. It’ll be fun.

TYLER: OK, so let’s just get this straight. Madlib and MF Doom cannot be touched as of late. Cannot be touched. Why is it that even in the underground scene, those who just do what they do instead of touting themselves (Def Jux, I’m looking at you) always put out the retarded s*** and never disappoint?

BRENT: Never mind Def Jux. What about Roc-a-Fella, Death Row, Priority or even Anticon? I haven’t heard anything this good since Nation of Millions.

TYLER: Yeah, I know it’s not just Def Jux, but mainstream labels and Anticon already have their formulas set. They know who they’re marketing to.

BRENT: Exactly. Whereas DOOM and Madlib seem to just be making music for themselves.

TYLER: It’s because they know they have skills and don’t have to make themselves look better. I mean, Doom HIDES behind a mask. C’mon.

BRENT: It’s because he doesn’t give in to the clichés of the genre. Look at “Fancy Clown,” where Metalface raps as Viktor Vaughn (two of DOOM’s aliases) and one disses the other, or “Great Day Today” or “Curls,” where he runs himself into a lyrical corner (you expect him to reference his “bitches” or “that ass”) only to walk through the wall. Or “Hardcore Hustle,” where Wildchild spits a line about stabbing a guy in the heart…and then actually does it.

TYLER: Madvillainy does not have a slow spot. Even the skits are a step above everyone else. DOOM’s lyrics seem unassuming unless you really listen, kind of like subliminal messages. LISTEN!!

BRENT: And that’s to say nothing of Madlib's production.

TYLER: Production, production, production. Not a day goes by that I don’t hear of a new producer putting out an album. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a beathead through and through, and most of these albums are nice, but a 10-second snippet from Lib has been known to blow whole albums out of the water. Even when Lib uses a familiar sample, it still sounds fresh. It’s not even worth trying to describe his style. The only way to truly appreciate Lib’s sound is to listen. Plain and simple. Maybe all those trees really do put you on another level.

BRENT: Madlib makes the day they shot Abraham Lincoln look like a peanut.

TYLER: What other producer do you know of who pretends to be five different people, releases solo albums from each one of them and still has 20,000 other side projects going at the same time? That’s called proficiency, folks. Future hip-hoppers take heed. PUT IN WORK!!

BRENT: Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Madlib and MF Doom already collectively put out at least five of the best albums of last year?

TYLER: And counting.

(pause)

BRENT: Remember when DOOM set out a few years back to destroy hip-hop from the inside?

TYLER: Yeah?

BRENT: I think he's finally done it.

(pause)

TYLER: That review was pretty tight, I thought.

BRENT: Yeah?

TYLER: But it's no Madvillain.

BRENT: True that.

—BS with TB


Page Avenue
Story of the Year
Maverick Records

As you listen to Story of the Year’s first label record, Page Avenue, for the first time, you are most likely going to experience a wild trip that will most definitely freak you out. No, this does not happen because the band is so utterly amazing that you are completely blown away and ready to swear yourself to Story of the Year forever. Instead, it’ll be because you will swear that you are listening to the familiar screams of local hero Bert McCracken from The Used, but know that it is a completely different band.

As this happens, various emotions will begin to surge throughout your being. At first you’re angry that this band can’t develop a style of its own, but then you become impressed because though they are a little too close in sound to The Used, lead vocalist Dan Marsala can actually sing—well enough, in fact, that you want to keep listening.

It gradually becomes obvious that the nu-metal/punk band does not offer anything new to the music scene. The album, though coherent enough to make for a good listening experience, is completely devoid of originality. The screams, the instrumentation, the lyrics—it’s all something that you’ve heard before from someone else who can do it better. That’s not to say that the rapidly rising band should be disregarded. As its performance with Linkin Park at the E Center in February proved, the band knows how to keep its fans happy.

The lyrics on the album are perfect for members of the younger generation who are still experiencing the pains and trials of adolescence. Familiarity and understanding emanates from the record in a hardcore vibe that is somehow capable of softening the heart and forcing the listener to take a trip down memory lane.

The album’s 12 tracks are each unique in their own way, providing for a diversity of tunes that isn’t very common in bands these days. The disc is definitely fun to listen to, and if anything, gets the listener stoked for the next The Used concert.
—AT

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