Monday, October 12, 2015

"The Marvelous Missing Link: Found" Insane Clown Posse album review

The Marvelous Missing Link is not a regular I.C.P. album.

Released in the Summer of 2015 (at the Gathering), Found is the newest major release by the Insane Clown Posse. It is the second album of the third Joker's Card in the Dark Carnival mythology, coming very recently after the first album of the third card, Lost. The album was unveiled at the 20th annual Hallowicked show in Detroit, and has since been unleashed on the world.
For those of you who do not know about the third Joker's Card, these two newest albums are analogies for finding your faith. While Insane Clown Posse talks about God (The Christian God) frequently, the CD isn't about belonging to a church of a specific god. Found is about what life is like after you've found your faith, no matter if that faith is in the gods or elsewhere. This album wants you to know that life is invaluable and special.

I won't be talking about the physicals, because that is back at home in Rhode Island.


When I first heard about the two albums and their concept, I could not help but think about the Wraith era. It sounded like I.C.P. was trying to recreate that era of music in the modern day, and tweak it just a bit. While it's easy to hate on these CDs because of that similarity, it's also quite narrow-minded. These albums are similar to the Wraith and Hell's Pit in concept, but musically and culturally, not similar at all.
     Found is a very explicit album, but not in the way you might expect from the wicked clowns. Found starts with an intro from Jumpsteady telling you that you'll be okay, because you've found your faith. After the intro the album comes together with Found, another track about finding faith. These opening songs, like the intros on the Wraith and Hell's Pit, help set the mood of the album before the "meat" of the release. So it takes a little while for the CD to pick up.
     Psychopathic Records worked with a lot of in-house producers (Kuma, Young Wicked, Mike P.) along with Seven of Strange Music. It's worthy to note that Mike E. Clark was not a part of this project. Musically, Found is mostly a success. The production is very clean and consistent, while remaining a fresh, new sound for the Juggalos to get with. It isn't dark or morbid, but soft, gentle and uplifting. There's piano and light bass, and lots of feel-good chimes that make the album stand out from anything else I.C.P. has done. But while Found sounds pleasant musically, it is far from a perfect album.
     As you venture through the disc, it's easy to notice the filler. Tracks like "Get Clowned", "I Fucked a Cop", and "Lost at the Carnival" don't add much to the atmosphere of the CD, which makes Found a bit annoying to listen to. "I Fucked a Cop" is exactly what it sounds like. It's a story about Shaggy 2 Dope's quest to holla at some police neden, only to be disappointed when the neden is less than he expected. The track isn't wicked nor is it uplifting, and just exists on the album because it can. There are a nice handful of tracks like this on the CD that don't have any purpose other than adding some unnecessary goofiness to Found. Beyond that, these tracks aren't especially pleasant to listen to either and with the amount of filler on the CD, Found could have been a really stellar EP. There is a lot of music here that will leave you scratching your head thinking about how these tracks managed to get pressed onto such an important release.
     Where Found shines is the bleeding, passionate and most importantly, genuine nature of the CD. I.C.P. is really hoping to change some lives with this record. Unfortunately, the content of the release was not executed well enough to really grab you. Found will pull some heart strings, elicit some laughter and make you think seriously about the way you're living. Are you happy? Do you love the people around you? It's very hard to truly enjoy this album when these messages are interrupted by tracks like Pineapple Pizza that don't do much to add to the atmosphere of the album, other than generate silly goofiness to try and get a laugh out of you.
     Found is not a bad CD, but if you're crossing your fingers for a Wraith 2.0, you're sadly mistaken. I will say that out of the two CDs of the third card, I liked Lost a lot better than Found. I won't get into why, as that would constitute another review, but know that Found is an album you don't need. If you are going to buy it, get the physical so you can appreciate the artwork, but Found is far from I.C.P.'s strongest work. The tracks that you will be coming back for are few and far between, and while the feel-good theme of the CD is refreshing and genuine, there is too much junk on the CD for Found to really shine.

Nonetheless, Found is an I.C.P. release and it very much sounds like one. If you are a fan of their music, I'd recommend at least listening to it. If you aren't a fan of their music, Found will definitely not make you one. There are many other CDs in their career to choose from if you're new to them.

The Marvelous Missing Link by the Insane Clown Posse receives a: 2.3/5!

Strong points:

- Found will make you think seriously, pull at your heart strings, and make you laugh
- Consistent production
- Varying lyrical themes

Weak points:
- Way too much filler
- Not super into the new art
- Too playful (Frivolous)

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