Majesticons Beauty Party

Hip-hop freak Mike Ladd returns with part two of his Majesticon trilogy, which began with the Infesticons vs. the Majesticons's Gun Hill Road - a battle between the regular men and women in hip-hop (the Infesticons) and the bling-bling commercial rapper-robots (the Majesticons). After last album's defeat, the Majesticons have regrouped and upped their game. With Beauty Party, the Majesticons are white-collar criminals rhyming about real estate, lawyers and of course, beauty. Although said with tongue firmly in cheek, the "I've got so much access to excess" message is made more realistic by the assortment of chart-topping production from the Trusticons. The sound of post-bling is a catchy mix of funk, soul and R&B that's rooted in gangsta rap and kept fresh by a variety of space effects and glitchy bleeps and blips. The result is a thought provoking record that screams out to be played at parties. Mike Ladd and guests (Vast Aire, Murs and El-P, among others) are more successful at turning out an ironic pop fantasy than the Automator's Gorillaz, but Beauty Party is not perfect, as "Luv Thief Party" plays it too serious and a couple others rely more on lyrics than any interesting beats. Buy it before the Majesticons buy you. (Ninja Tune)