APRIL 2004

> THE DOUBLE BLACK ALBUM (2004) | adam barrett

This is how CDs work with a lot of people: it sucks until the third time it's heard. The Double Black Album has this effect on me, and at first I didn't give it the chance it deserves. Cheap Cologne's mix of Jay-Z's Black Album lyrics over samples of Metallica's Black Album, is hailed by him as a joke that went too far, and at first listen seems like an apt description.

My second, third, and forth listens brightened my view on the CD, though. One real gripe I have is that it doesn't establish a hard start. The best you can expect is a building of anticipation from the beats in Public Service Announcement, but then is calmed with Change Clothes that only shines in certain areas of the song. It works as a song, mixed nicely, but falls in the crack between PSA and the next song Dirt off Your Shoulder.

Dirt off Your Shoulder works off a slowed down Enter Sandman underwater (yes, underwater) and into the song, more things come to attention that makes it more likeable. It's a different take on the versions I've heard from Danger Mouse and Kanye's original beat, subdued compared to stand-out. Afterwards starts the real album. It's almost a night and day difference. The first four songs are all forgotten when 99 Problems plays with Sad but True samples. James Hetfield's rhythm guitar screams in the song, and the lyrics flow right over Sad but True like the two music icons were in the studio working on it at the same time.

Afterwards, the CD finds its legs and runs out, with exception to Lucifer that doesn't always match up. Lucifer is the best song on the album if you can bear the cluttered hook. Encore is right up there with Lucifer, playing over Through the Never. It starts off hard and abrupt; something that you'll notice the beginning of the CD doesn't do many times, which is why I feel like it's two different records. The Double Black Album finishes up with what I can tell is a Cheap Cologne original beat with "H to the Izzo" lyrics that sounds like Phil Collins crossed with Aboriginal tribes in Australia. The CD will keep your interest for awhile, but you'll be skipping the first couple of songs to get to the better part of the record. You can get the CD from Cheap Cologne's
website or click here to get it for free.

> BIOGRAPHY | about the author

Adam Barrett is featured in the anthology Where Handstands Surprise Us: The Best of the Bean Street Reading Series, which was released in the summer of 2004..