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November 12, 2007 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-11-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



8A - Monday, November 12, 2007
From page 5A
Sean C and LV of Bad Boy's
Hitmen set the tone of the album
by producing five of the first six
tracks. With the input of Diddy, the

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

pair crafts a lush, sample-based
sound that transcends the template
of typical soul loops. With the
addition of live instrumentation,
the duo's frequent breakdowns and
cymbal crashes are given an added
flair. The boastful "Party Life" is
punctuated by an ethereal eight-
bar bridge eliciting a candid, free-

Do you wanna play
800-2Review (PrincetonReview.com
Corner of S. University and S. Forest

style-esque fourth verse from Hov.
What's even more surprising
than the Diddy-helmed production
team is the partnership of hitmak-
er Jermaine Dupri and No I.D., a
Chicago veteran known mostly for
his work with Common in the '90s.
The odd couple collaborates on
the aforementioned "Success" and
the album's final track, "Fallin'."
Based on an irresistible Dramatics
sample, "Fallin' " is a bittersweet
conclusion to the album's narrative
When comparing Jay-Z's lat-
est offering with past efforts, it
becomes clear that much of Ameri-
can Gangster's appeal lies in its
synthesis of Jay's most compel-
ling traits: the precise lyricism of
Reasonable Doubt; the consistent,
soulful production of Blueprint;
and the thematic drive of The Black

Album. The near-whisper delivery
that dominates Kingdom Come is
relegated to appropriate usage on
a couple choice tracks ("American
Dreamin' " and "Party Life"). The
album's weaknesses are minimal
- a Lil Wayne cameo that's more
"Barry Bonds" than "Hollywood
Divorce" and the inclusion of The
Black Album leftover "Ignorant
Shit," which, despite its added
verses, is still old news for most
In contrast to his peers' attempts
at recapturing their earlier days
(Raekwon's current project is
titled Only Built for Cuban Linx II),
Jay's approach to American Gang-
ster is effortless. By revisiting his
past in an unforced manner, Jay-Z
has proven that aging rap icons can
still cook up classics -- as long as
they stay inspired.

Picasso's Jay-Z?

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From page 5A
Byrjun" is comprised only of piano,
powerful guitar strums, light
drumming and Jdnsi's smooth fal-
One can hear birds twittering
during quiet parts of "Heysitan,"
atrackrecorded outdoors. There is
an anomaly in this song, where the

only English words in a Sigur Rs
song appear as "Massey Fergu-
son," referring to an old farmer's
The album diverges to progres-
sive rock in "I Gar." Eerie tinkling
announces the beginning and end,
but the middle swells with dark
vocals and heavy electric gui-
tar that are unique to a spare few
Sigur Rs songs. After the period
marking the track's release, the

band completely abandoned this
prog-style and returnedtoitsusual
classical ambiance.
Although it's not a completely
original album, Hvarf-Heim serves
as a gathering of rare acoustic ver-
sions of fan-favorite songs and
fine-tuned electric studio cuts of
various released and unreleased
tracks. Fans may have hoped
for new additions to their music
library, but they shouldn't be dis-
appointed by the band's attempt
to perfect their previously raw
works. Following the close of an
extensive tour for Takk, a newly
made film and flawlessly reshaped
Hvarf-Heim, it'll be interesting to
see what the future has in store for
Sigur Rs.
E-mail grossman@
michigandaily.com with

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