Rantings, reviews and lists from a person who structures half his life around obsessing over music.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quasimoto - The Further Adventures of Lord Quas (2005)

3.0 ★/6.0 - 6.9

Between the Slim Shady persona becoming a parody of himself, the 4 year break for all of MF Doom's projects and titles (only to end with him returning simply as DOOM), and the ridiculously constant name changes of Puff Daddy/P. Diddy/SeanDaddyP.CombsDiddyJabberwockymajig, it might be safe to say that the hip hop alter-ego has had it's day. Increasingly, it's becoming to feel more like a gimmick than something that could actually inspire new ideas within an artist.

So where does that leave Quasimoto? There were already moments on The Unseen where it felt like Madlib was spending too much time with just himself in his garage. Whereas on Madvillainy, Madlib had someone else to bounce his ideas off of and tell him what wasn't working (See "Closer" w/ MF Doom for more evidence of how effective this is), the Quasimoto moniker finds our Stones Throw leading star basically talking to himself. And while it hasn't been confirmed whether or not Madlib took as many drugs for The Further Adventures of Lord Quas as he did for The Unseen, it certainly sounds like he doubled his intake, because the frustrations are a bit tougher to overlook, such as when the plodding boredom of "Greenery" ends with a 15 second snippet of a delicious Blaxploitation rhythm that could have been a much better song in and of itself, or how the smooth nightstalker grooves of "Bus Ride" keep getting interrupted by nonsensical hodgepodges of random notes and hobo rants.

Undoubtedly, a lot of people will forgive or even commend Madlib for his refusal to edit because, for those fascinated by the intoxicating effects of drugs, it's hard not to glamorize it. Plus, any Madlib fan would be foolish to miss out on hearing him go synth-crazy on "Don't Blink" and "Bartender Say", indulging in lush productions as on "The Exclusive", And delivering what-the-fuck experiences on "Shroom Music" and "Tomorrow Never Knows" that can't really be found anywhere else.

Ultimately though, marijuana is not a miracle inspiration and can't pull genius out of anyone's ass. At the end of "Greenery", Madlib can't resist putting in that familiar "America's Most Blunted" sample of an educational video voice explaining how "Everyone finds that they're more creative stoned than straight!" But then it goes on to explain how all of us are Michelangelos and Da Vincis, and that assumption is where The Further Adventures of Lord Quas loses its way. Weed only brings out what's already there. Someone who's never touched an instrument won't compose a symphony when they're high, although someone who's had years of practice and songwriting experience will probably find ideas they wouldn't have thought of sober. To Madlib's credit, he certainly fits the latter bill.

But an even bigger misstep would be failure to aknowledge that not all of them are going to sound as good the morning after, and Lord Quas makes that mistake a few too many times on this slight sophomore slump. The problem is that when you wake and bake, there's never a "morning after".

1 comment:

Baary said...

i think you're way, way off. this is one of the most wildly creative rap albums released this whole decade. not as easy a listen or as good as Quasimoto's "The Unseen," but much more creative, a kind of adventure in and of itself. It's just as much a comedy album as a rap record. I remember someone calling it, the rap version of Frank Zappa & The Mother's of Invention's "We're only in it for the money" and that's right on. That is what Madlib is all about to the core.

The album isn't perfect that's for sure, but the problem is that it's just too long. Take off about 1/3 of the weaker material and it would be a classic.

"How many times must a man look up
before he can see the sky?"