Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Madchild: "Lawn Mower Man" (album review)

Rapper Madchild has had quite a strong career.  He soared to the top of the Canadian hip hop industry as a member of Swollen Members.  Now on August 6th he will release a new solo album, Lawn Mower Man.

The album takes it's title from the Stephen King short story, and the themes of horror and the supernatural are a consistent thread on the record.

Instead of a truly horrifying Stephen King feel, Madchild seems bent on becoming the hip hop Rob Zombie.  Tracks like "Good vs Evil", "Kill Kill Kill", and "Nature of the Beast" go right passed campy and straight to cartoonish.  Unlike Zombie however, there's no indication that Madchild is in on the joke.

There are lyrics that are questionable as well.  I'm no prude, but in 2013 there's really no acceptable excuse for the repeated use of the term 'retard', which appears on multiple tracks.

There are some redeeming moments.  The lead track, "Crazy" is a delightfully harsh statement.  Ignoring the easily ignored lyrics, "FTW" boasts an in-your-face arrangement that is impossible to look passed.

The surprising moment comes with "It Gets Better".  A beautiful Gospel vocal makes it an outstanding hopeful, uplifting number that is quite out of place on this record.

Ultimately, Lawn Mower Man is an uninspired and unimaginative album that's salvaged by a handful of tracks.  Pass on the record, buy the singles.

Madchild plays The Rockpile in Toronto on September 14th.

Best tracks: "Crazy", "It Gets Better"

Track listing for Lawn Mower Man:
  • Crazy
  • Tiger Style
  • Nature of the Beast
  • Chainsaw
  • Prefontaine
  • It Gets Better
  • Lawn Mower Man
  • Last Emperor
  • FTW
  • Good vs Evil
  • Coal Mine
  • Kill Kill Kill
  • Blood Beast
  • Underground King

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