A real dogs breakfast of an album.
Adam Webb 2006-08-15
Topping 1996's Dr. Octagonecologyst (the best record Mo Wax ever put out, including Entroducing) was always going to a tall order, and so it has proved for ex-Ultramagnetic MC,turned Hip Hop gynaecologist, Kool Keith. Since that groundbreaking release, his career has followed an Icarus-like trajectory involving an ever larger and more confusingnumber of side projects. Sadly, it is on Dr Octagon's official return that he finally hits rock bottom.
Much blame must be left at the producer's door, with Dan The Automater replaced by none-too-subtle German trio One Watt Sun. Keith'svocals are buried under a mire of synthesisers, making wordsand music seem detached from one another. On the occasions they do intertwine - on "Trees", "Ants" and "Perfect World" - the lyrics seem less than impressive, never climbing to the surreal heights of the Dr's celebrated debut.
In fact, The Return... mostly celebrates the banal - trees are dying, people look like ants from the window of a plane, bears shit in woods. Etcetera, etcetera. Quite how one of the last decade's most original controversialists is reduced to a crashing bore is puzzling to say the least, but by the time Princess Superstar pops up on "Eat It", most former fans will have long tuned out.A real dog's breakfast of an album.