Within every man there is a fight, a struggle between good and evil. Within each man is the ability to create much good or much destruction -- it is up to the individual to decide which path to take. An angel, perhaps named Jake, urges each individual to follow the path of righteousness; a devil, perhaps named Jack, urges everyone to walk the path of darkness. Sadly, Jack and Jake are fat guys in clown makeup. Yes, it's true that the Insane Clown Posse are back with their fifth proper album (or, in juggalo parlance, the fifth joker card) -- and this time, they have alter egos! And a morality tale to tell! For The Amazing Jeckel Brothers is a full-fledged concept album about the 19 circles of hell and how each man is torn between the juggling balls of goodness and spraying evil soda on paying patrons. Or something. Certainly, the very fact that ICP is writing a concept album illustrates their growing ambition, and the cast of cameos illustrates their changing audience and stature. Where The Great Milenko, the legendary botched major-label debut, was targeted at white-boy, adolescent metalheads -- really, how could any album that contained guest spots from Alice Cooper, Slash, Steve Jones and Legs Diamond be anything else? -- The Amazing Jeckel Brothers contains cameos from Snoop Dogg and Ol' Dirty Bastard, plus a cover of a Geto Boys song, which brings ICP to street level...or at least the street level that gangsta-loving suburban high schoolers love. Still, the harder beats and the slight removal of metallic tendencies give the album a fresher feel, and the concept, however muddled it may be, does give the album real structure and momentum. So, if The Amazing Jeckel Brothers does prove to give the Insane Clown Posse a large audience -- the kind fellow Detroit jesters Eminem and Kid Rock earned in early 1999 -- it won't just because they've hung around long enough or that their peers have paved the way. It will be because they've actually delivered an album that comes close to fulfilling whatever promise their ridiculous, carnivalesque blend of hardcore hip-hop and shock-metal had in the first place. True, The Amazing Jeckel Brothers will still annoy anyone who believes ICP are, for lack of a better word, jackasses, but it will satisfy the juggalos, and the music is clever enough to expand their audience -- a triumph of some sort.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine