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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Ghostface Killah
Big Dough Rehab
Def Jam

Rating: 7.9/10 ?


December 14, 2007
Earlier this year the Portland-based Lifesavas returned to the fore of Oregonian hip-hop with the release of Gutterfly: The Original Soundtrack, a concept album subsumed by its beats. Just last week, Ghostface Killah, the world's most gifted rapper, put out a record with the same intentions, even though it's a far sillier conceit: he's got a decade on those Portland chuckleheads, one spent in recognizable stardom, and he won't even admit that his record's the real fantasyland. Are we really to think Ghost wiped someone's vitals off his clothes after a shopping cart-by capping this year? To his credit, this reviewer prefers punchlines and hard-gripping narratives to bullshit street proof and I don't need to know the details of anything other than what Ghost writes on his pad. Fact is, Big Dough Rehab is Ghostface Killah's third straight album in as many years to just freeze his moment: nothing but inventive impressions ("centipede stab wound" was a favorite) and an unapologetic thrill towards blood and money. First came Fishscale, the best record of last year, then More Fish leftovers of tracks even worthier than Rehab, albeit less introspective ones that added up to an impossibly solid crew record with his Theodore Unit mates, including his own son, Sun God. Rehab has every right to coast on the momentum of Ghost's hot streak - exploit it, if you will - for an overload of same. Lots of sex (not only in the wicked clubber "We Celebrate," but also walking in on Method Man and an "asthmatic"), lots of blood (that poor grocery shopper), and threats all over (calm down, fellow "Barrel Brother" Beanie Sigel).

What Big Dough Rehab lacks is canon-worthy tunes. At times, Ghost rhymes so fiercely that he seems to forget there's even a song. He trudges right over the whole track he's sampling, not even stopping to loop, can't be bothered for a hook, just track after track of can't-stop-won't-stop. Ghost is simply not looking back, even as he approaches the marked age of 40; he's almost like Leonard from Memento, erasing realities one at a time to set up a new thrill now that life's shot its wad. It's kind of admirable, and it's kind of sad at the same time. That breakneck pace could become his fatal flaw as a record maker; the lyrics carry these half-conceived tunes pretty much wholesale. If Ghostface Killah put the care and depth Lifesavas invested into their deep, classy background, he might've come up with something truly scary. But as 2007 has it, although Ghost's review rating bests Lifesavas' by eight-tenths of a percent, both Gutterfly and Big Dough Rehab are two sensational records by ambitious talents that can only comport to exploit themselves so far.

Reviewed by Dan Weiss
Dan Weiss is the music editor for LAS. Formerly an editorial intern at CMJ and creator of the now defunct What was It Anyway?, his work has appeared in Village Voice, Pitchfork, Philadelphia Inquirer, Stylus and Crawdaddy among others. He resides in Brooklyn where he enjoys questionable lifestyle choices and loud guitars.

See other reviews by Dan Weiss

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