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I Am the Messiah

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Album Review

Hiding behind a thin veil of anonymity, MC Honky claims to be a fifty-something baby boomer who used to be a janitor, a studio engineer, and even a potter, who has turned to mixing music. Regardless of Honky's identity or rather suspect story, I Am the Messiah is a mixing experiment that's — at times — wildly creative and marvelously intoxicating. Cleverly constructing songs around snippets of vinyl artifacts, Honky also combines funky exotica, killer breakbeats, and a quirky educational filmstrip aesthetic that never takes itself seriously. "Sonnet No. 3 (Like a Duck)," "3 Turntables & 2 Microphones," and "The Baby That Was You" are whimsical little triumphs in retro-stylized counterculture, while the album's centerpiece, "The Object," flaunts clean '50s narrative camp and sticky go-go hooks. "The Object" first appeared on The Anniversary Party soundtrack, in which E of the Eels served as a music archivist, and consequently, he figures to be at the root of the MC Honky mystery. I Am the Messiah is hardly perfect however, as it suffers from a choppy flow, drops a few F-bombs along the way, and offers oddities like "Soft Velvety 'Fer," which is mainly a weird series of morphed voice messages left by a woman describing her wacky dreams about having a dog baby. Nevertheless, the mad carnival organ and moaning blues loop on "The Devil Went Down to Silverlake," along with the searing pasticcio funk of "Baby Elephant Rock-A-Bye," make I Am the Messiah one of the more inventive hip-hop releases of 2003.

I Am the Messiah, MC Honky
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