Review Summary: Not too crude for the casual listener, not too commercial-sounding for the "Juggalos", Insane Clown Posse have brought us overall one of their most solid albums.
The Insane Clown Posse have always been the giant slop of Marmite on the world of music; they are looked upon with great disgust while still maintaining one of the strongest musical fanbases known to man. Their unique brand of hip-hop with crude, horror-oriented lyrics has always proven controversial, yet their records always sell like hot-cakes. Then along came 2009's 'Bang! Pow! Boom!', an album that attempted to bring in a whole new audience while still maintaining the existing fans, keeping their bizarre lyrical style while moving towards a generally more commercial sound. Instead, the album was met with uncertainty from just about everyone. The lyrics still proved off-putting to the new listener, while fans were offended, believing the wicked clowns were "going mainstream". It was going to be difficult to follow-up with a release to counteract on the negative effect that 'Bang! Pow! Boom!' left. Enter 'The Mighty Death Pop!', which actually turns out to be some of the clowns best material yet.
'The Mighty Death Pop!' continues the Dark Carnival mythos that the Insane Clown Posse have been creating since their debut 'Carnival of Carnage'. Details aside, the album opens with an appropriate intro introducing the latest character in the series of "Joker's Cards". This is then followed on by the titular track, which instantly sets the bar very high for the rest of the album. The track, which samples Hot Chocolate
's 'Everyone's A Winner', instantly turns out to be some of the best material MC's Violent J
and Shaggy 2 Dope
have touched in a long time. Unlike most of the Insane Clown Posse's material, this song could definitely appeal to the wider audience they seek; the lyrics don't overdo it and the beat is generally enjoyable.
After the great opening however, 'The Mighty Death Pop!' faults where so many of the clown's other LPs have failed - it all generally becomes a mixed bag. We get some impressive work such as 'Night of the Chainsaw' and the fun track that is 'Juggalo Juice', however the album as a whole seems to falter at times with tracks like 'Kickin' Kickin'', which, despite being a song about a ninja, ends up being one of the more boring tracks off the album.
Lyrically, Insane Clown Posse have done what they do best: create controversial material. 'Shooting Stars' is a "diss song" against Chris Brown
, a trend which continues with 'Dog Catchers', a song expressing great dislike for television star Dog the Bounty Hunter. However, it's the track 'Chris Benoit' that proves to be the most shocking. Upon the release of the music video, the song got a lot of backlash from listeners who were appalled by the songs subject matter: former professional wrestler Chris Benoit, whose life ended in a double murder and suicide. It seems like a nasty topic to tackle, and unfortunately ends up being some of the more bland, badly written lyrics on the album - "You did this, this you/(What the f*ck am I doing"/You got issues". Despite the negativity of 'Chris Benoit', the lyrics are generally much less crude than the likes of albums such as 'Riddle Box' or 'Ringmaster'.
After the audience splitting 'Bang! Pow! Boom!', 'The Mighty Death Pop!' strikes back as some of the best work the wicked clowns have done so far. The lyrics don't push it too far (bar 'Chris Benoit' of course) and the sound doesn't push too close to the "mainstream". This is far better than most of the clown's other albums and comes close to the likes of 'The Amazing Jeckyl Brothers', previously considered the Insane Clown Posse's best work. This is an album that could potentially please fans and casual listeners alike.