Russian Roulette - The Alchemist
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Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.5

Universal acclaim- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Summary: Alan Maman moves from the producer chair to the mic for his third solo album as The Alchemist that includes guest appearances from such artists as Action Bronson, Danny Brown, Guilty Simpson, Fashawn, Roc Marciano, and Schoolboy Q.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Jul 23, 2012
    90
    Although it feels druggy and improvisational at times, the outcome is soberingly great.
  2. Aug 6, 2012
    85
    Perhaps his greatest achievement here lies in the construction, an LP that balances the rappers with the beats into a seamless record.
  3. Sep 5, 2012
    80
    This cohesive piece is still dotted with stand-out moments.
  4. 70
    Despite the big names (he invited a veritable indie hip-hop A-list), Maman's vision shines without overpowering.
  5. Aug 22, 2012
    70
    The LA-bred production wizard creates a kaleidoscope of audio experiences that blend together into one-hour long, unconventional gem. [#253, p.91]
  6. Jul 23, 2012
    70
    With verses courtesy of everyone from Schoolboy Q and Action Bronson to Roc Marciano and Danny Brown, Alc continues to wear his hazy influences on his sleeve.
  7. Oct 12, 2012
    50
    For most of its runtime, highlights included, the album is mired in the same self-drowning-out that afflicts the best of its ilk.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Oct 1, 2012
    8
    A whirlwind tour through a diverse world of Russian musical samples and related soundbites mixed with banging Alchemist beats. Alchemist concocts a fast-changing musical soundscape accompanied by a range of decent rapping performances from various underground contemporaries. The short track lengths and brisk rate at which different samples come and go is a double-edged sword: some of the results are spectacularly good, verging on classic hip hop, and you wish they were given a bit more time to mature and sink in. Other parts are messy and uninteresting, but then you don't have to wait long till you're back onto the good stuff.

    To appreciate this work, it needs to be listened to as a complete album. Preferably several times in a row - and I haven't felt that way about a CD in years. This is not your typical run-of-the-mill hip hop album, and as such, will appeal to listeners looking for something a bit different from whatever else is around at the moment. Refreshingly good work from a talented producer/DJ.
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