MF Doom

Venomous Villain

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

Kicking out the moody, quirky jams, MF Doom returns with his crafty alias Viktor Vaughan (Victor Von Doom was the birth name of Marvel comics character Dr. Doom, true believers). If you're following the Dr. Doom legend, this would be MF Doom before the evildoers got to him, or maybe a more personal Doom, mask off. It's both with some tracks coming off as hungry K.M.D. material and the rest being introspective tales of darkness. Despite his hectic release schedule, Doom keeps the quality high on the album. Lyrics are tight, clever, and darkly humorous, but it's the production that hits you first. Digital errors and glitches pop out the murk, and it's jarring. Vocals fold up and disappear while cell-phone voices emerge out of the dark before you go under the bridge and they also vanish. Doom often creates his own beats and he's come off as a mad scientist before, but never has the producer/rapper one-two punch worked so well, creating an album that's fully thought out. Doom has also been this dense before, but not so subterranean. Being so shadowy means the album needs time to linger in your player for full effect, but there are two out-of-the-box classics to add to Doom's repertoire. The busy "R.A.P. G.A.M.E." is the first, with an unavoidable, hooky chorus and sweet beats from Session 31. Doom's view of the state of rap, Kool Keith's skewed comments on the same, plus doper-than-dope scratching from DJ Sure Shot should keep "Doper Skiller" in every freak's MP3 player for at least a year or two. The rest of the album is hard to separate, which is a compliment to this noir-flavored journey. Too much roam and wander for some, but Doom-heads looking for the perfect downer couldn't ask for much more. Hoody, headphones, Venomous Villain -- now you're ready for a long walk in the rain.

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