These days, mash-ups of Jay-Z's The Black Album are becoming as common as massive egos on reality shows. Not to mention that the whole DJ mash-up phenomenon is getting to be as played out as trucker hats at Old Navy. But regardless of the impending irrelevance of the novelty blends, they just keep coming.
The latest desktop science experiment is the brainchild of DJ N-Wee. The Slack Album is an amalgamation of Jay-Z's a cappella tracks (of course) and -- get this -- Pavement's 1992 classic, Slanted and Enchanted. While most mashes just don't work, Slack is strong throughout, with only a few misfires. If you spent the early '90s getting high and listening to "Summer Babe" from Enchanted, you'll love this revision from the very first track. By far, the disc's best cut is "In the Mouth, an Encore," which uses Jay's "Encore" and Pavement's "In the Mouth of a Desert." The familiar guitar lick and Stephen Malkmus singing "It's what I want/It's what I want" work so well with Jay's lyrics that the song sounds like its two components were always meant to be conjoined. The Slack Album takes hip-hop's elder statesman and integrates him with indie rock's genius underachievers in a way that even the most world-weary hipster or jaded DJ can enjoy. It's the new anthem -- throw yo' damn hands up. Actually, if that seems like too much effort, just go ahead and stay put. -- John Reidy
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