So that is the background, and this what MF Doom has to say about this current release, "You should listen to the album for what it is and not expect it to be like the average "Rap" stuff you're probably used to. Geedorah is a space monster. He's not from the Earth. I made it different on purpose. A blend of ill lyrics and instrumentals. To me its way iller than any of the wack shit out now."
"This whole album is Geedorah's alien perspective on humans," he went on to explain. "This is done intentionally to show the listener a mirror image of his/herself and the way we see each other. On the album we cover different subjects ranging from race issues to the neglect of children. Some might find the word "Nigger" offensive, or the line about the young girl not being able to read maybe considered a "bad taste" joke. All these insecurities are within us."
MF Doom has done well to actually have the audible manifestations of his craft come close to matching his intentions for it. He is pretty much a one man affair now when it comes to making music having produced, written, recorded, arranged, mixed and mastered this release himself. He has a pretty recognisable style now, somewhat off-centre with beats that owe much to his love of jazz, but not only that he is also a fantastically skilled, charismatic MC.
One of the problems with the production on the tracks is that a main groove is established in the sequence and on a couple of the early tracks like Fastlane can on occasion get a bit tired towards the end of the track, however tracks where the sample is perfect for looping like Anti-Matter, this is not a failing at all. The production does lack a bit of subtlety, but the huge amount of supporting sounds and film samples add a great deal of depth, giving the whole LP a feeling of coherence and a cinematic feel. This is probably over critical though as I'm feeling this quite a lot.
Next Levels is a very mellow affair with the laid back sax and gentle piano. The down tempo track features the most guests of any track and in fact the selection of guests, who are new to me, are well chosen and don't overload the album, but are spread out and contribute diversity to the vocals in the right places. The LP possibly gets increasingly strong as it plays on, but before the peak is No Snakes Alive, which has a whole heap of noise in the background which makes the listening very hard going. It is obviously experimental, but all the freaky distortions and tones are too off key for me.
The next few tracks are all really solid. Anti-Matter has a classic guitar loop and live sounding drum set. Mr Fantastik sounds really smooth and the low key singing in the chorus' gives the track a sleepy vibe. One feature of the LP is the end of tracks and the joins between them. The are no boring fadeouts here. Tracks suddenly end when you'd lest expect it, and start just as strangely. Lockjaw with Mr Trunks on the mic is a bit more upbeat, but is just a one verse shortie, which I would have liked to have been developed into something more substantial. I Wonder which utilises Hassan Chop's lyrics alongside MF Doom has to be one of the best tracks on here even if it has a melancholy feel.
There are a few more instrumental type tracks - Monster Zero, Take Me To Your Leader and One Smart Nigger. The former a track is backed with muzak organs and a partly random drum track, and is inundated by a plethora of vocal samples which give us much of the background story of Geedorah coming to Earth and backing the humans into retreat. Take Me To Your Leader contains just as many samples and is backed with a pitch shifting and spooky high pitched tone. Whilst there are sub-levels of politics and deeper meanings and parallels to be drawn out of the lyrics, the latter, One Smart Nigger follows the previous forays off earlier work into white oppression and looks into how those in power have been stealing black culture.
The final track, The Fine Print features a human beatbox for the drums, and whilst Doom hooks up trumpets and a whistle for the music, he delivers his vocals with clarity as he does throughout. The LP draws to an end with a skit in which King Geedorah decides to take over the world.
Bravely, if you are superstitious, MF Doom has put 13 tracks on what is probably classed as a short LP by today's standards at only 42 minutes long, but this shouldn't put you off as so many of today's releases are in reality over-bloated and full of substandard filler tacks that do them no justice. This however is a tasty CD that can be slapped in the player and left to play. The CD cover is a touch disappointing, but there is a novel element there too. The cover depicts King Geedorah being attacked by the human forces and the whole sleeve folds out to show shapes of tanks, missiles and King Geedorah himself, which can be cut out in order for the battle to be re-enacted. Interesting, but more could have been done with the space. Overall then… check it. Simple.