There is no shortage of cynicism during an era as bleak as this one, and no one spills it quite like rapper/producer MF DOOM. The famously masked artist has changed his name again; it’s just DOOM now, and like the metal mask he performs under, the pseudonym is a nod to Marvel Comics baddie Dr. Doom. DOOM has always grunted nonsensical rhymes over shadowy beats, and this shtick has propelled him to the forefront of indie rap. He’s quickly become a poster child for Cartoon Network’s [adult swim], and his production has been recruited by big names like Ghostface Killah.
Unfortunately, the limelight can cripple growth. Born Like This, the artist’s first record in four years, is substandard. “Hefner please, lost the food and stew beef, new referees,” DOOM sputters on “Lightworks,” still sacrificing coherence for rhyme. “Supervillainz” finds the artist grunting over a whining organ, his flow weaker than ever. But even more troubling is the intensely homophobic “Batty Boyz,” in which DOOM derides a lifestyle “even the rats know is tacky.”
Nearly half of these songs clock in at less than two minutes, so while there are glimpses of the talent that put DOOM on the map, (the sober “Absolutely” and the J Dilla-produced “Gazzillion Ear”) Born Like This is mostly an undercooked dystopian skit. He’s got the political atheism of the Roots, but none of that group’s veiled sense of hope. Perhaps it’s fitting that “Cellz” samples Charles Bukowski, a poet equally entrenched in despair. But who needs another cynic?
I gotta admit I wasn’t too keen on her voice the first time I heard it, but something about her deep and smokey singing drew me in. This video has a pretty fare sampling of what to expect on the forthcoming album, Two Sons:
Conor Oberst posted a new song from his forthcoming album, Outer South, on his web-site to be streamed. Click here to listen to “Slowly (Oh So Slowly).” Sounds like he is going to continue one with The Mystical Valley Band for at least one more record, which is great news for us.
New Leonard Cohen Album
If you head on over to NPR you can stream in its entirety the double disc collection Live in London by Leonard Cohen. This is a great introduction for anyone who’s only interraction with Cohen’s music is the Rufus Wainwright cover of his epic “Hallelujah” found on the Shrek soundtrack.
The Killers Cover Bright Eyes
The Killers will relaese their song Spaceman off of their new record Day & Age as a single on April 14th. Which wouldn’t be noteworthy at all, but for the cover of the very country Bright Eyes song, ” Four Winds” that was recorded for the B-side.
Where The Wild Things Are
The trailer for the new Spike Jonze interpretation of possibly the greatest children’s book ever, Where the Wild Things Are was released last week, and it looks awesome. That partly due to how awesome Wild Thing looks, and then also because of the sweet version of The Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” that is playing in the background.
Stereogum premiered a new Death Cab For Cutie record, The Open Door EP. Each day last week they would post one of the five tracks that were recorded during the Narrow Stairs process, but are definitely not outcasts. My favorite might be the last track, which is the only unoriginal track of the bunch, a stripped down demo of “Talking Bird.”