Madchild Switched On

Madchild Switched On
No one in hip-hop has gotten more mileage out of a single shtick than Madchild. No one. You'd think that after ten solo albums, 11 Swollen Members projects and innumerable guest appearances, the guy would be tired about rapping how he's a little goblin and/or monster, ogre, demon, beast. Nope. The Vancouver MC just keeps on trucking.

The bizarre thing is, it's still fun to listen to… mostly. Whatever you might think of Mad's lyrical tunnel vision, he's clearly having the time of his life. Switched On has plenty of enjoyable moments, and the ones where Mad pushes himself are the best. Songs like "Iran" and the 8-bit-styled "Tom Cruise" feel like they sprung from a kick-ass studio session, with no deadlines or a single pentagram in sight.

Having said that, you've really got to be a diehard fan to make it through to the end of this release. The beats are forgettable at best and downright annoying at worst, and by the end of 18 tracks, the album wears on the listener. Mad even starts repeating himself, reworking a nonsensical line from the beginning of the album about Foghorn Leghorn eating a hambone. I hate to say he's run out of ideas, but… well, he sort of sounds like he has.

If Madchild challenged himself more, then Switched On might be essential. As it is, it's one for the hardcore fans only. (Battle Axe)