Dead Celebrity Status

Blood Music

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The presence of half of Jane's Addiction (the ubiquitous Dave Navarro and Stephen Perkins) and members of Marilyn Manson and Limp Bizkit raises fears of a past-its-sell-by-date rap-rock hybrid. Elsewhere, the more inexplicable cameos by hackish grrl-power rocker Bif Naked and flavor-of-2004 hype Joss Stone merely suggest that Blood Music is just gonna suck. That it doesn't entirely is due to the impressive skills of this Canadian hip-hop duo plus DJ/producer Jeff Dalziel. Despite the self-comparisons to Nirvana and Axl Rose in "Messiah," Dead Celebrity Status don't always have their rock & roll history straight: "Somebody Turn the Lights Out" so blatantly misattributes a Pink Floyd lift that one hopes it must have been done just to annoy train-spotting music geeks. Overall, the lyrical content of the album is fairly pedestrian suburban rap stuff, elevated only by the refreshing lack of gangsta posturing. But taken as a whole, Blood Music is a straightforward, fairly credible hip-hop album made by non-black non-Americans that doesn't attempt to fetishize the color or nationality of its creators in a roundabout attempt to earn street cred. It's a fairly slight album with some notable flaws alongside its virtues, but Dead Celebrity Status don't attempt anything so far outside of their comfort zone that it completely falls on its face.

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