Of late, hip-hop supergroups have fared better than their rock counterparts. C'mon--Madvillain? Handsome Boy Modeling School? Incredible stuff, especially in comparison to Velvet Revolver. Now let's add Dangerdoom to that distinguished list. A collaboration between it-producer Danger Mouse and Madvillain rhymer MF Doom, The Mouse and the Mask goes high-concept on us, incorporating Cartoon Network's Adult Swim animated characters into its lyrical and aural construction. The tie-in gimmick ought to limit the creativity, but pop culture doesn't scare our dynamic duo, so the album flows confidently between Harvey Birdman's lawyerly nonsense and Master Shake's rampant insecurity. If you don't watch cartoons, don't sweat it--the sprightly beats are some of Mouse's most accessible, while Doom's joyfully thick delivery rhymes "generous" with "enemas" and "what weed do" with "you dweeb you." They turn a commercial calculation into a distinctive artistic work--and have a blast doing it.
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