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Our Music Year No. 226: Madvillain, ‘Madvillainy’

By From page A8 | August 14, 2013

Artist: Madvillain
Title: “Madvillainy”
Year: 2004
Format: Spotify
Grade: A

Madlib concocts a plethora of tasty beats for MF Doom to lay down vocal tracks on Madvillain’s “Madvillainy,” the pair’s 2004 collaboration.

The interludes recall old-time horror films, casting Doom and Madlib as evildoers in hijacked clips from films of the 1940s.

But it’s the beats that shine. They are an eclectic bunch that push the boundaries of what is accepted in hip-hop. The dance shuffle that guides “Raid” is infectious, but jazzy, too.

The tracks are short, too, with only three of the 22 running beyond the three-minute mark. That makes “Madvillainy” tight and focused.

While it’s lacking for hooks, it’s not noticeable as the breakneck pace never gives the listeners a chance, just leaving them to groove to the beat.

A friend recommended “Madvillainy” to me many years ago. Clearly, it was advice I ignored at my own peril because it is an exemplar offering.

Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.

Nick DeCicco

Nick DeCicco

Nick DeCicco is the editor of the Tailwind and writes the pop culture blog/column For Those About to Rock. Before joining the DR staff in July 2007, DeCicco (pronounced Deh-CEE-Coh) worked at The Union in Grass Valley, Calif., and the Greeley Tribune in Greeley, Colo. A 2004 graduate of the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, DeCicco spends his free time attending concerts, listening to music, going to movies, traveling and hiking.
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