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Limp Bizkit

Gold Cobra

(Interscope; US: 28 Jun 2011; UK: 27 Jun 2011)

Review [5.Jul.2011]

5



Limp Bizkit
Gold Cobra


There are a lot of reasons to wax nostalgic about the 1990s, but nu-metal isn’t one of them. That genre can go away and die, thank you very much. But those bands that so cunningly channeled angry-white-boy sentiment 13 years ago need to pay bills, and incredibly, there are still people gullible enough to lay down money to hear more boring, down-tuned riffs and inane rapping. Limp Bizkit remain the poster boys for nu-metal idiocy, and 42-year-old frontman Fred Durst does his damndest to try to recapture the obnoxious vibe of 1999’s Significant Other and 2000’s asinine Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water. While Durst’s nasally-voiced, egotistical histrionics and the hack riffs of severely overrated guitarist Wes Borland is enough to qualify this thing as one of the worst albums of 2011, the clincher is Gold Cobra’s incredible lack of hooks. No matter how much you disliked Limp Bizkit back in the day, there’s no denying “Nookie” and “Break Stuff” remain insidiously catchy. This album, on the other hand, is a complete waste of time, a desperate attempt at a comeback by a band under the delusion that it’s still relevant. Adrien Begrand


 

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Tyler, The Creator

Goblin

(XL; US: 10 May 2011; UK: 10 May 2011)

Review [11.May.2011]

4



Tyler, The Creator
Goblin


Why are we okay with some offensive works and not others? That’s a bit more ground than I can cover in a blurb, but it’s not exactly shocking that Tyler’s first widely available album fell on the wrong side of the line for a lot of people. The homophobia and misogyny here are indefensible, but they aren’t shocking or bracing in any real way, and they aren’t even enough to make Goblin such a waste of time (I love some works of art that are as reprehensible as this is, and if you think you don’t do too, you’re wrong); its aesthetic sins are nearly as bad as its social ones. Tyler probably shouldn’t have taken the storage limitations of the CD as a challenge; these 73 minutes could be cut in half without missing much of anything at all. There are indications that Tyler has potential, but they’re not on this album. Ian Mathers


 

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Lupe Fiasco

Lasers

(Atlantic; US: 8 Mar 2011; UK: 7 Mar 2011)

Review [9.Mar.2011]

3



Lupe Fiasco
Lasers


It’s Lupe Fiasco’s name on the cover of Lasers, but he must be absolved of much of the responsibility for this abomination as it arrived after a long, draining battle with record label Atlantic that Fiasco himself called “mentally destructive”. Let’s forget that Lupe is, of course, a superb MC. His first two albums Food & Liquor and The Cool were smart slices of spectacle-sporting skate boy rap that launched Fiasco as the artist Atlantic were keen to push to the forefront of pop. But on Lasers, he sounds like a passenger, confused by the chaos all around him. The arrangements are an ugly din; a cheap, plastic wall of noise, as much cut to be forced out of mobile phone speakers as blasted in the club, and for a pop album, almost every hook (many of which are provided by an odd collective that includes MDMA, Skyler Grey and JR Get Money) falls flat or, worse, irritates to the extreme. Funny thing is, in the right circumstances I’m positive Lupe is an artist that could create a grandiose pop masterwork. For now though, it’s hard to see how this one could have gone more awry. Dean Van Nguyen


 

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Chris Brown

F.A.M.E.

(Jive; US: 22 Mar 2011; UK: 21 Mar 2011)

Review [17.Apr.2011]

2



Chris Brown
F.A.M.E.


One of the entertainment industry’s most consistently interesting plotlines is that of the teen sensation’s transition into adulthood. So many have either crashed and burned spectacularly or disappeared from the spotlight that it’s hard to avert your eyes as the evolutionary period begins. Somewhat disappointingly, Chris Brown has found a way to get stuck in between success and bombastic failure, and his music has been struggling uselessly as a result. F.A.M.E. improved slightly on the atomically awful Graffiti, but only by moving away from attempting to garner sympathy for his despicable, abusive relationship with pop queen Rihanna. Musically it’s as garish as ever, an emotionless amalgam of synths, Auto-tune and autosoul that’s designed for world stadium tours in which Brown dancing and feigning sexual acts with random audience members is the attraction. The ballads are laughable as love-declaring soundtracks and the dance tracks as generic as they could possibly come. While peers such as Trey Songz continue to grow and—perhaps most importantly—mature in the songs they choose to sing, Chris Brown appears stuck in his glory days, unable to understand the difference between a seventeen year old singing these songs and a 22-year-old. David Amidon


 

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Lou Reed & Metallica

Lulu

(Warner Bros.; US: 1 Nov 2011; UK: 31 Oct 2011)

1



Lou Reed & Metallica
Lulu


Lou Reed’s polarizing vortex of white noise, Metal Machine Music was the first point of reference when songs started leaking from this Lou Reed/Metallica hybrid. But where that record was the ultimate Da-Daist statement and the standard bearer for stretching the limits of tolerance, Lulu is just a plain bad idea that prompts little more than a dismissive chuckle. Lulu is no room clearing “F-you”, avant garde excursion, or even some sort of defiant example of artistic integrity. Lou is dead serious here and for over 80 long minutes we get an earful of what’s apparently eating at him. Forgetting that Lou sounds like a cranky old man, the biggest problem is the absurd choice of Metallica as his backing band. Probably the least simpatico pairing of all time. Here’s a band so ham-fisted, bludgeoning and totally lacking in any nuance or subtlety, whatever ole Lou is trying to get across never has a chance. Corralling Metallica leaves a stench of wanting to sell records, but who’s buying? What’s next? Leonard Cohen teams up with System of a Down? Bill See


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