Review Summary: This album is the perfect companion for the Fall/Winter, and I'd highly reccomend it to anyone looking for some quality listening.
The first thing I thought of when listening to Albert Eintstein is that I did not think Prodigy had another album in him in the realm of his mid 90's run. Sure, he should be able to, as anyone who has created greatness, even once, is expected to match that level of quality, EVERY time they release material. Mobb Deep, not necessarily to their core fans but in the greater lexicon, are typically known for one astounding moment of greatness, followed subsequently by an expected descention out of the general hip-hop realm of consciousness. That is not to discredit their work before, during or after their artistic prime, things just kind of are how they are. Almost 20 years after creating a song that belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Hip-Hop Records (alongside the likes of T.R.O.Y., Eric B. Is President and Triumph among others), Prodigy has stepped back into the booth with less fury, but a more calculated and menacing posture that provides his words the density needed to keep the listener on the ground level, seeing the world through his eyes. Prodigy is all at once: sarcastic, grim and meticulously vivid in his word choice. The real treat though is that he is deft enough with each element in his writing and rapping to to make each verse a chapter in the story, rather than provide a rewind-worthy punchline, or mezmorizing flow. Prodigy sounds as though he's telling you from a first hand account, rather than reciting an imaginary tale.
All of that, and yet no mention of the beats. The Alchemist, who has been on a production run that is beginning to rival the mid 90's output from greats like DJ Premier and RZA, brings his absolute best to Albert Einstein. The Alchemist has steadily been etching out his niche, working with any and all he is able to, professing that single placements do not satisfy him anymore, that entire Albums are now his focus. From the screeching strings of the introduction, until the last few seconds of "Say My Name", you are taken on a dark and dingy journey. You will see atrocious things, but more importantly, you will feel the cool breeze on "Confessions" as you see the steam from Prodigy's mouth as he recounts two ordered hits. You will sense the smoky haze on "Stay Dope" as Prodigy starts, "30 milligrams of something strong...". Your pulse will race with the breakbeat base of "R.I.P" with Prodigy teaming up with Havoc and Raekwon. The swirling influences and indulgences create an entire universe inside of Albert Einstein, that is as varied as it is consistent in tone. One would think the last sentence was a contradiction of the highest form, but after listening to Albert Einstein, it will become clear what a clear and concise vision can do to create an entertaining and interesting album from front to back.
This album was released in June, but I wasn't exposed to it until September. I can't help but think that has done a little to sway the way I see and feel it, as it is not meant for a BBQ or a walk in the park. This is meant to be listened to inside your car with the windows all the way up, and the sound bouncing and caroming off of each interior panel. This should be listened to at the bus stop with over the ear headphones on, and a slight head nod. This album is the perfect companion for the Fall/Winter, and I'd highly reccomend it to anyone looking for some quality listening.