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Strangeulation [2 LP][Explicit]
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  • It shouldn't be a surprise that rapper Tech N9ne's fifth album of collaborations, and 14th album overall, isn't an easy entry point for newcomers, and with the topic being Tech's "Strangulation" of the music industry, this is certainly one for the Strange Music cheerleaders. All that said, it's a Strange Music posse party that just don't stop, crackling with all the excitement of a mixtape but given that official release polish, which just increases the "boom" factor. Boomiest of the bunch might be the early album highlight "Hard (A Monster Made It)" with recent Strange Music signee Murs as guest, plus a video game soundtrack for the verses and a rock-rap chorus that's the ultimate example of Tech in freaky singalong mode ("My sh*t is hard, constipated/They wonder why it's so killer, it's because a monster made it"). Super-hero styled team-ups with Krizz Kaliko (popping bass, grinding guitars, and Alice Cooper-esque angst are the stuff filling "Make Waves") and Ces Cru (pushing all meters into the red on the dubstep and electro stomper called "American Horror Story") are almost as killer, and then there's the slow ghost dance called "We Are Free" where Bernz and Wrekonize join for some solid "why are we here?"-styled ruminating. Add to this the fantastic title track, which is littered about the album like a four-movement suite, and Strangeulation displays some care was taken when it comes to the full album layout, but there's no denying that Tech's collabos collections are just too busy and brash for those outside the fan club. ~ David Jeffries
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