Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Madvillain: Madvillainy [Stones Throw, 2004]
No noticeable structure a dozen plays in--just a glorious phantasmagoria of flow. Give them time and Madlib's 22 bits and pieces in 46 minutes seem not just catchy but inevitable--press shuffle at your peril, although "Curls" and "Accordion" hold their own. As for Doom, well: "One scary night I saw the light/Heard a voice like Barry White/Said, 'Sure you're right.'" To emulate neither Barry White, the voice means, nor the kind of quick thinker who normally rhymes "fine, G," "hiney," "Chinee," "shiny," and "pine tree." Instead Doom sounds slow, probably because he's stoned. He loves rhyme so much that the only universe that suits him is one where a gutter ball leads straight to a butterball--and that is a stoned universe. A-