LABMUNKZink: Almanac

There's no doubt that Almanac is a producer's album. It's telling that the record's first moments are sampled dialogue from Stanley Kubrick's classic A Clockwork Orange, because Almanac flows effortlessly through disparate moods, like all great cinema.

Although all the different vocalists that grace most of the tracks turn in compelling performances, the emphasis is on the music, produced by Defacedproperty and St. Dominic, primarily. While this is an album that couldn't have been made without the influence and aesthetic of hip-hop, the results aren't that simple. Stylistically, Almanac is all over the place; it's a dense kaleidoscope of all sorts of rhythm-based music. And the musical returns are immaculate, in both the detailed collages of the production and the immediate thrills of the sound itself. This is a record that can be the background soundtrack to a party, but with deep layers that reveal themselves upon repeated listens.

Highlights include the Wu-Tang and P-Funk montage "9-5," the visceral "Head Bang!" and the jazzy "Blue." There really are no weak spots on Almanac, save for a couple of skits and the overlong "HandFull." Those are minor complaints, however, and generally each song is short enough to make its point without overstaying its welcome.

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