Mac Lethal
North Korean BBQ


4.5
superb

Review

by ConsiderPhlebas USER (34 Reviews)
April 6th, 2011 | 48 replies | 4,985 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Be a man and get involved.

8 of 9 thought this review was well written

Even to the most casual listener, it’s always been obvious that rap music is punctuated with distinct characters. Gangsta rappers tap into the ever-present, worldwide obsession with crime that everyone pretends to hate, whilst the guys in the indie circuit put out literate records that worship at the alter of language. For all the memorable names and faces, though, hip-hop often lacks a sense of welcome that other, more passive genres provide. They might be cool, intelligent and passionate, but would you really want to hang out with the average emcee? When it comes to Mac Lethal, the answer is probably ‘yes’. Not because he sounds soft in any way, but because he sounds like a guy who just picked up a mic and started rapping about his life, the stuff he cares about and the stuff that pisses him off. Rather than be dominated by the genre, Mac renders it almost transparent, never sounding as if he’s relying on old tropes to extend the length of an album or song. He isn’t trying to make hip-hop, he isn’t trying to make Mac Lethal songs; instead he communicates what he has inside to the listener in the most direct way possible, backed up by a skill with words that ranges from relaxed to near-ruthless.

North Korean BBQ is a subtle piece of work, with layers and undercurrents of tone moving through the beats and lyrics. From the brooding acoustic guitar of ‘Citrus’ to the club synths of ‘Little Mac’, the record produces a level of atmosphere that marks an interesting, welcome progression from the sparse instrumentation of previous works. Mac himself sounds like a man pushed to more than one edge of his life, with the regret of ‘Feel it in the Air’ and the numbness of ‘Shannon’ seeing him reach new levels of catharsis. Written in the aftermath of a failed relationship, North Korean BBQ is the sound of a man hitting the bottom and keeping it together as best as he can. The playfulness with words and sparkling wit that Mac is known for is still there, but the subject matter is darker than ever before. It’s difficult not to be affected by lyrics that are as emotionally naked as ‘see I thought breaking up was bad, until I told a little girl that I can’t be her step-dad’. Thankfully there are elements of relief which add balance to the album; the bounce of ‘My Favorite Song’ might be ironic compared to the bitterness of the words within, but it’s still a lot of fun. Dark as it is, this isn’t the sound of self-pity. And for anyone suffering the blows of an ordinary life going wrong, Mac Lethal’s latest might just be the soundtrack you need.



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user ratings (104)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
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Inveigh (4)
Mac Lethal returns with his strongest work since OG 11:11....


Comments:Add a Comment 
ConsiderPhlebas
April 6th 2011



6157 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The first two reviews were both excellent, and I've overlapped with some points, but I had to do this.

cvlts
April 6th 2011



8917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you jelly?

Digging: Pedro the Lion - It's Hard To Find A Friend

WatchItExplode
April 6th 2011



3072 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This has had aaalmost enough attention now.

Last paragraph dark as it probably missing an it? Love the flow of this review Phleb,
You are one concise motha.

ConsiderPhlebas
April 6th 2011



6157 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I doubt it'll get over four or five reviews

Maniac!
April 6th 2011



26187 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

fuck man... I was hoping for a lower score.

Maniac!
April 6th 2011



26187 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Great review though

ConsiderPhlebas
April 6th 2011



6157 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers, man. 3 though? :[

somberlain
April 6th 2011



2121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

all aboard the Mac Lethal hype train!!!
great review Phleb

They might be cool, intelligent and passionate, but would you really want to hang out with the average emcee?

Hell no! but Mac isn't you average emcee

Maniac!
April 6th 2011



26187 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I thought most of the beats were lackluster at best and sometimes his delivery bothered me.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
April 6th 2011



17118 Comments


phleb is such a sell out

Digging: Sad Lovers and Giants - Feeding the Flame

WatchItExplode
April 6th 2011



3072 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Adam is a downer.

ConsiderPhlebas
April 6th 2011



6157 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks, somb... actually I kinda make it sound like he is average by answering that question.. might have to re-do that sentence.


I think the beats here are his best tbh, man. They've been a sticking point for me in the past.

ConsiderPhlebas
April 6th 2011



6157 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

phleb is such a sell out




Damn straight



Maniac!
April 6th 2011



26187 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Some are just downright cheesy

Maniac!
April 6th 2011



26187 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Tracks 3-6 are pretty cool though

Bulldog
April 6th 2011



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Fux dis album

ConsiderPhlebas
April 6th 2011



6157 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think they're cheesy at points, but in a playful, knowing way.

Bulldog
April 6th 2011



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off


Adam is a downer.


wrong adam bro

ConsiderPhlebas
April 6th 2011



6157 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bulldog and Redsky with the 2s. Great minds think alike.

somberlain
April 6th 2011



2121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

redsky and Bulldog being downers
2? gtfo!



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