This is music clearly bred more for a dark coffeehouse than a guest-listed club. Minus the action-shot comic book cover, MF Doom and Madlib have teamed up as Madvillain. It is a marriage of complementary dark styles. Madlibâ€šÃ„Ã´s beats and production are warm and dusty in a minimal delivery that is content being patient. While, similarly, MF Doom spits his own leisurely dank brand of rhymes best be described as a low voice that recently cleared itself of mucus. It may never serve as the soundtrack to a crowded house party, but this dynamic duoâ€šÃ„Ã´s Madvillainy will be a dream come true for diehard fans of underground hip hop.Although there are plenty of change-ups, the tempo remains between moderate and marginally faster. Madlib takes short-note basslines, compresses them strong and then uses repetitious inflections to color the melody. Songs such as “Meat Grinder” and “Shadows of Tomorrow” make strides with this technique without irritation. Other tracks like “Figaro” crackle on with one augmented keyboard scale bouncing quietly. “Rainbows” find Doom mimicking the slurry phrasing of a jazz saxophone happily buzzing “That one he drinks drano.” Also commendable for Madlib is an unflinching directness with vocal samples. Several appear throughout the record and punctuate songs humorously in a late 80â€šÃ„Ã´s/early 90â€šÃ„Ã´s fashion.
Doom sounds as comfortable in this production as an MC might ever hope to be. Many songs find him darting rhymes in and out of time with the beat, fearlessly. It comes off deceptively sloppy, as it is in fact a calculated knack for timing. It may not satisfy those seeking flashy club/MTV tunes, but for all looking closer these Madvillains wonâ€šÃ„Ã´t disappoint.