Top 100 Albums of the Decade: #13 Danger Mouse - Ghetto Pop Life
Top 100 Albums of the Decade list will be posted over the course of 100 days. On September 23rd, we will post one album and continue every day until December 31st, when we will unveil our #1 album of the decade!
Please read our introduction to learn about our nominating and ordering process.
#13 Danger Mouse - Ghetto Pop Life
Ghetto Pop Life, released in 2003 on Warp's Lex Records, was the first full-length album from Danger Mouse, real name Brian Burton. It's an album that has unfortunately been overlooked because of the subsequent celebration of Danger Mouse's mash-up, The Grey Album (2004), as well as his work with Cee Lo as Gnarls Barkley.
While Burton's MC, rapper Jemini, delivers a solid performance, it's Danger Mouse's production chops that make this a truly great hip hop album. Burton has produced a moody, layered, jazz inspired record, which exhibits all the rudiments of the production talent that would place Burton among the most sought after DJs in the business.
Danger really nodded to the old school here. The album feels like something from a much earlier period (listen to "Yoo-Hoo!"). Part of this feel comes from the good company Danger adds to the mix: Tha Alkaholiks, Cee-Lo, The Pharcyde, J-Zone and Prince Po. Part of it is the lo-fi production style, something that flew in the face of the overblown popular sounds early in the decade. There's also an almost haunting deep soul feel to the album.
Some real gems here: "Ghetto Pop Life," is among the best songs Burton has done, a swirling anthem that brings to mind the classic "Summer in the City." "Medieval " is too cool; "Copy Cats" will start the party.
- Ken Manning
Check back tomorrow for the next album! To see the full list of the Top 100 Albums of the Decade, click here.
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