8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Good, but could have been a lot better, 20 Oct. 2005
There's a lot to like about this album - but a lot to forget too. If you're looking at this page, no doubt you know who the two perpetrators are... MF Doom, arguably the most original and consistently offbeat rapper of recent years, and Danger Mouse, producer responsible for the lawsuit-attracting Jay Z / Beatles mash up known as the 'Grey Album'. The third element to The Mouse And The Mask is the addition of characters from the late-night American cartoon show Adult Swim. The skits, which run throughout the album and appear on most songs in one form or another, are funny at first but quickly become grating. Maybe a listener more familiar with the Adult Swim characters would appreciate them more, but I found myself skipping them after the first hearing.
As for the music itself, Danger provides a palette of bouncy, occasionally corny samples and keyboard swirls that neatly offset Doom's regulated, deadpan rapping style. Where this works - on tracks such as 'El Chupa Nibre', ' Space Hoes', the Ghostface-guested 'The Mask' and 'Sofa King' - it comes off brilliantly. Unfortunately, some of the tracks just sound too poppy; despite a nicely crooned chorus from Cee-Lo Brown, 'Bizzie Box' is a dull and overly twee number, while a couple of other tracks are just plain boring. Dm's beats, in this project among others, tend towards the repetetive, and this happens too often on this album.
Still its a worthwhile album because, even on the less interesting songs, Doom enlivens proceedings with his ridiculous wordplay. Disses towards other MCs that are almost subliminal - "They raps ain't got no gift like a lonely Christmas"; "Digest a group and sell the poop on eBay" - bump up against references to Janeane Garofalo, "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka and "those dudes in red shirts off Star Trek". Delivered in Doom's trademark quotidian, metered sentences and with his drawling patois, the listener hangs onto ever word, wondering just how the masked supervillain can rhyme "Gats is borin'" with "vats of urine" and get away with it.