Methods of Mayhem

Methods of Mayhem

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Tommy Lee's first project since leaving Mötley Crüe in mid-1999, Methods of Mayhem's self-titled debut album lands squarely in the rap-metal camp, an area the Crüe never ventured into even for all its stylistic shifting of the mid- to late-'90s. But while the sounds are different, the Crüe's party-hardy sensibility remains, albeit filtered through the adolescent humor of groups like Limp Bizkit. The record can't help but feel somewhat calculating in its contemporary production, as though Lee sometimes tries too hard to sound hip; that's further confirmed by the otherwise impressive array of guest stars, including Kid Rock, Snoop Dogg, the Crystal Method, Lil' Kim, Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst, George Clinton, and Beastie Boys collaborator Mixmaster Mike, plus production work from Rob Zombie. To be sure, these guests do enliven the proceedings, but it's also easy to see them as having been chosen for maximum popular appeal; moreover, it's difficult for Methods of Mayhem to carve out its own identity, opening up accusations of stylistic bandwagon-jumping. But to Lee's credit, he has made a commercially viable record, which isn't always the case when aging hard rockers try to update their sounds (witness the Scorpions' Eye II Eye). So even if the album is far from an unqualified success -- it has its share of moments that feel stiff and forced -- it's also an album that will find an audience thanks to its catchier tracks, like the lead single "Get Naked."

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