Puff Up the Volume

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At a certain point, the joke gets old -- even (and especially) if the bandmembers are constantly talking about how they're a joke. That Talibam! wear many musical hats and are willing to try all sorts of things is to their credit, admittedly -- more bands should be able to do even one style slightly well over a full career. But when it comes to the duo's hip-hop move with Puff Up the Volume, Talibam! completely and annoyingly fall flat. If they had the sheer combination of chutzpah, understanding of fan appreciation beyond lazy irony, and actual honest-to-god hip-hop knowledge of the Insane Clown Posse, then what Talibam! do here wouldn't be so tiring. But by the time of Puff Up the Volume's eventual release after much earlier talk and discussion -- especially in a world where Das Racist ended up telling sharper stories and funnier jokes -- there was little to do with the collection of brief compositions and random trash-talking than just shrug. With flow skills about equivalent to that done for ads on whitebread Top 40 stations from 1987 mixed with sex cheese moronism, doubtless the argument is that it's supposed to be shitty-sounding and/or annoying. But creating something that makes a listener yearn for the depth of ability and compelling poetry of MC Chris is not something to be proud of.

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