Minamina Goodsong

The Transcendental Game of Zen

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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason

Minamina Goodsong's fourth album takes all the best aspects of its predecessors -- the lyrical gooniness of Time for Breakfast, the sample extravaganza arrangements of Snatch, Grab, I Love You, the maturity of The Four-Farmer Circus -- and finally puts them together into an album that fulfills the promise they've had from the beginning. There is not a single duff track on The Transcendental Game of Zen; even the two skit tracks are funny and sonically inventive. All three MCs are at the top of their respective games, and DJ T'Challa has created a masterful blend of samples and loops underpinning it all. Less showy than the dizzying Snatch, Grab, I Love You, this is still the richest-sounding of all the group's albums. Best of all, there are good old-fashioned pop hooks and catchy choruses all over this album, culminating in the fantastic "Superock," a wistful but biting piece of hip-hop nostalgia that quite rightly finds the current mainstream scene wanting in comparison. One of the best underground hip-hop releases of 2005, The Transcendental Game of Zen finally puts Minamina Goodsong in the position they've wanted all along, as this hip-hop generation's own De La Soul.

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