Rage Against the Machine
Stream of Justice (Late 2008, Epic)

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There isn’t an indie-politically-motivated-rap-metal-crossover fan that didn’t immediately cry bittersweet tears of happy when RATM released their latest offering in 2008. The song “Shit on you, I Won’t Comply” made major international headlines when it received accidental airplay during a military funeral in Carolina, instead of “Runaway Train” by Soul Asylum. Michael Moore directed the band’s single “My guitar is my Flag, I strum as a Salute” by videoing the band breaking into The UK House of Lords and generally jumping up and down on the seats before being sternly told off. ard, heavy, meaningful. 8/10

Alice in Chains
FaceDirt (Roadrunner, Nov 2008 )

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AiC decided that a dead lead singer shouldn’t stop them, just as it didn’t stop Nirvana, The Beatles or Queen. The result is the searing, grunge manifesto of FaceDirt, which was released for the stocking-filler market at Christmas 2008. Ten tracks feature Jerry Cantrell, Mike Inez, the king of breakbeat rock drumming Sean Kinney and Comes with the Fall-Guy Wiliam DuVall, who does a superb job on lyrics. The album comes with a toy blade, a black dress doll you can stick pins in and other really really obscurely referenced toy spin-offs. 7/10

Fugees
I hear Voices…Wait, no you Don’t. (Jan 2009)

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Despite rumours of mental illness, hatred and black-on-black racism within the group, the Fugees came together in early 2009 to produce the seminal, nay fluid “I hear Voices…wait, no you don’t”. Wyclef Jean’s half-crooning, half rapping style was hampered by the fact that he chose to produce the album as he was singing it. The consequential button twisting noises, second takes sung right after first takes and not edited out, and constant suggestions about pitch tone and feeling spoken into the microphone as the other members sing severely hampers this album. 4/10

Guns ‘N’ Roses
Chinese Democracy (Spring 2009)

After only 16 tiny years wait, One 6th of Guns N Roses and a Third of all other bands got together finally to produce the symphonic, chronic, catatonic Chinese Democracy. Originally designed to coincide with the Beijing Olympics, the deadline was missed when Axl Rose, the sole remaining member of the GNR lineup, pulled the digital masters off the CD printing machine because “the horns aren’t quite fruity enough in Silkworms.” The completed 39 track album comes as a special edition with real 89 piece orchestra delivered to the home of each customer, who play along to each track in the listener’s lounge room. Price $8,000. Epic. 10/10

Dr Dre
Detox (Aftermath 2009)

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Dre, of NWA and Chronic Fame, hasn’t realised that his music is only ever played ironically these days. In fact, poor Dre’s dress sense is the first to be “mimicked expensively” as poor youths from round the world holed themselves up the face in credit card debt to drench themselves in jewels and puffy jackets worht $4000 “because if was hilarious and Ironic.” Standout tracks are ” Still infirm but Still in the Game”, “Ridin’ in my Stanna” and “Rap so hard my dentures come out” but overall it sounds more like Weid Al taking the piss. 4/10

Eminem
King Mathers (Shady Records, 2009)

Never one to disappoint or indeed shy from telling the world to suck it’s own penis, Eminem re-emerged with hist first studio album in 5 years. Raucousness, clever rhymes, real recorded executions of his enemies, and excellent guests make this the come-back album of the millenium. Tracks that shine include “F*ck You in the Knee”, “What Rhymes with Blunt, Shunt and Stunt, Your Face Does” and “Something Something Baby Mother”. 11/10

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