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100-Word Album Review: The Alchemist’s “Russian Roulette”

By Ryan J. / 06.27.12

Here’s the thing about Alchemist: he’s all over the musical map. Case in point, he uses Soviet-infused samples to guide his latest LP, Russian Roulette, and brings along a who’s who of underground MCs to fill the blank space. It’s an audacious effort that sequences well yet jumps from guitar riffs (“Training Montage: Getting Stronger”) to horn-squawking boom-bap (“Don Seymour’s Theme”). This is great, but his soundscapes bully his guests out the way, usually reducing them to spectators (like Schoolboy Q on “Flight Confirmation”). He’s a populist producer, but Russian Roulette lacks symbiosis, which would have made it great.

Standout Songs: “Decisions Over Veal Orloff,” “Flight Confirmation” and “Kalashnekov Guns”

One To Skip: “The Kosmos Pt. 2: Power Glove”


TAGS100-WORD REVIEWSAlchemistMUSICREVIEWSRussian RouletteThe Alchemist

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