Doom | Born Like This

Lex  (2009)
By ANDREW GRAHAM  |  April 21, 2009
3.0 3.0 Stars


It's been more than three years since the infamous masked rap anti-hero Doom dropped an album — a long time for any musician, and an eternity in the mercurial, often fickle world of hip-hop. Doom's familiar trademarks are all here: his velour-smooth voice, the abstract lyrical constructions that come to life when scrutinized, the comic-book bad-guy posturing. And then there are the beats.

Much of his notoriety owes to his lo-fi and (in theory) bush-league production style. Over the years, his scruffy loops — sampled from saccharine '80s quiet-storm R&B records and laced with clipped, almost sterile snares and kicks — have proved to be as distinctive as his flow. Largely a solo effort, Born Like This does include production and guest verses from both new and known co-conspirators. Doom's album-length collaborations have proved stellar in the past (Madvillainy, Vaudeville Villain); these one-offs, however, are less rewarding.

"Ballskin" sounds like little more than a semi-tactful replication by producer Jake One of De La Soul's new-era classic "Rock Co.Kane Flow" (which Doom guested on). And Empress Stahhr's verse doesn't add much beyond a female approximation of Doom's own vocal style. Still, the return of this villain is a welcome one.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Hip-Hop and Rap, Music,  More more >
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