Danny!

And I Love Her: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

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AllMusic Review by

It's fitting that, on an album which mutates hip-hop in jokes into lush, solipsistic psychedelia, one of the first lines is a self-serving Def Jux diss. As a production showcase, And I Love H.E.R. may just be the diametric opposite of El-P's sound: fleet and uptempo drums where El-P's lumber murkily, samples pluming like silk here where El-P's stab, whine, and thud. That he casts such lofty contrasts, of course, is Danny Swain's entire intent. As often as his rhymes dip into melancholic self-doubt throughout the record, these starbursts of dusty violins and mariachi horns are the expression of an artist in complete control. Hence these manic flights of artistic whimsy: the Guitar Hero solo on "The Groove," the knowing, indulgent lifts from OutKast and A Tribe Called Quest on "I Want H.E.R. (She's So Heavy)," the audacious syncopation of "Do You." Spaced over 17 tracks and 70 minutes, it's a rich listen, demanding headphones but rewarding the investment. In this regard, it's a release that draws as much from post-millennial Chicago rap (probably the closest scene to which we might peg oddball South Carolinian Danny!) as it does Prince Paul's finest mid-'90s output.

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