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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
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Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
MC Paul Barman
Coup d'Etat Entertainment

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
MC Paul Barman. Brown University alumnus. Curly haired white Jewish rapper. The dandiest voice east of the Mississippi. Kind of like me, except I am not really a rapper (not publicly anyway) and I am only a half-Jew. Maybe these similarities were the source of my trepidation about listening to this album. My pre-listen thoughts consisted of the following inner monologue:

"Jonah, dude, MC Paul Barman is lame, you aren't gonna' like this."

Shit is deep. My inner monologues catch wreck.

So I listened and I laughed and I liked. And here is why.

As Paul explains on songs like the Phofo and self-produced "Old Paul," he is well aware of the criticism that may follow about how he is exploiting rap for laughs and taking away from an art form that was started by and for the most part claimed by black Americans. He compares his career to the Choco Taco: tasty, but a cultural mockery? He beats you to the punch and his palindromes and real knowledge of hip hop only help his witty thought process. And then we switch it up to "Cock Mobster," produced by Mike the Music Guy, who handles much of the albums sounds, where Paul hilariously rattles off a celebrity "I banged her" list featuring the likes of Kim Gordon, Lisa Bonet, Terri Garr and Nora Prepon. Don't even get offended because the shit is funny. Prince Paul, who produced his debut EP, It's Very Stimulating, reappears on "Bleeding Brain Grow" with a twitching guitar line over which Paul rhymes about the Holocaust and how black and Jewish women are actually not all that different. Irreverent? Perhaps, but that is just a stupid critics word for finding something funny when you kind of wonder if it's ok to be finding it funny… but you should. The seminal MF Doom produces "Anarchist Bookstore Pts. 1 and 2" - now that's straight hip hop! While the acoustic guitar and spoken word stylings of "Talking Time Travel" slow things down a bit, tracks like "N.O.W." keep it rolling "irreverently" (oh god!) with Paul having a conversation about getting busy with girls at pro-choice rallies. Now that's gangsta!

MC Paul Barman, must everyone be a target? Apparently so. Let's be honest, Paulleleujah! may not make be making the year end lists of 2002 and it probably won't be much reminisced over in 3 years, but give it a listen now and have yourself an "irreverent" (not again!) belly chuckle.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker



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