Monday, October 26, 2015

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

The Marvelous Missing Link: Lost is the first half of the the third Joker's card in the 2nd set, released in 2015. It comes directly before The Marvelous Missing Link: Found.
Conceptually, the two albums are meant to represent faith. Lost is meant to symbolize what life is like if you do not have faith (in a god, or gods), and Found is supposed to represent what life is like after you find your faith.

I won't be talking about physicals.
Psychopathic Records did a pre-order promotion where, if you pre-ordered the CD, you would get a special limited edition version which came with a holographic 3-D cover. I have never seen the graphics for the CD, but I do own the LE version.

The Marvelous Missing Link: Lost is meant to simulate hopelessness, chaos, death, depression and degradation due to faithlessness. Conceptually, Lost is similar to Hell's Pit, but different musically and culturally. It is the flipside of Found, which reflects what life is like after you've found your faith. Violent J had even claimed that Lost was scarier than Hell's Pit at one point (, but is that really true? Do these two albums, so distant from each other, even deserve comparison? Further, is Lost really scarier than its epic ancestor, Hell's Pit?
     Lost is not scarier than Hell's Pit, but it is a lot more straightforward. After the Wraith came out, everyone knew that I.C.P. was really trying to lead people to God. This time around, instead of trying to lead you to God, they are trying to lead you to your own, personal faith. Whatever that faith may be. What that means for Lost is that they aren't hosting any ambiguity about the purpose of the CD. This album is about what it is like to be without your gods. They will tell you this in different ways throughout the album directly and indirectly, but in interesting and entertaining ways.
     The CD starts with two opening tracks that serve to set the mood of the record. What this translates to musically is six minutes during which you'll be told, over and over again, to find your faith. These opening tracks are not spooky, more melodic, though not especially enjoyable to listen to. It makes the beginning of the CD boring, but once this extended introduction is over things start to really pick up. The next two tracks, "Apocalypse" and "Shock" are adrenaline-fueled tracks meant to symbolize the chaos and destruction associated with being faithless or Lost. The presence of chaos is a consistent theme on the CD that rears itself differently as you venture through Lost, which is welcome (and well-executed) although it is not a new concept.
     One way in which Lost is different from Hell's Pit is that Lost is much more melodic. Tracks like You Should Know and I See the Devil have softer, sung choruses, and tracks like Falling Apart and How are more traditionally rock right down to the crooning of the hooks. While the lyrical and musical variety is very welcome, Hell's Pit was scary because of the unpredictable, slower, and scattered lyricism. This style of music makes very brief appearances on Lost (Vomit, and Flamethrower for example), but is not focused on to the extent that it was in Hell's Pit.
     The Marvelous Missing Link: Lost consists mostly of electronic production with occasional singing and sparse instrumentation. Musically, the CD is mostly successful and pleasant to listen to. There are a nice handful of songs to come back for, but Lost is an experience better taken whole. Filler is mostly nonexistent, and the tracklist is well-arranged and conclusive. While the production is different (It has been compared to dubstep/electronic), the Posse manages to work with the new sound and make it sound pretty fresh.
     Lost will not be the skin-crawling experience that Hell's Pit was, and it may not be the wig-flipping experience that you hoped it would be. But Lost should satisfy you because it is, above all, a solid release for the Insane Clown Posse. If you're a Juggalo, you should peep this album, but whether or not you decide to buy it is entirely up to you. If you aren't a Juggalo, Lost will probably not be the Insane Clown Posse album that draws you into the Dark Carnival. But you might dig it anyway, so maybe check out a couple of the tracks and see if it's your thing or not.

The Marvelous Missing Link: Lost by the Insane Clown Posse gets a: 3/5!

Strong points:

- Consistent production
- Lyrical, conceptual, musical variety
- Well-arranged tracklist

Weak points:
- Takes a while for the album to pick up
- Art is a bit weak
-  Confederate Flag and Neighbors Are Fighting could have been cut

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