What Is Jaydiohead?

jaydiohead_coverJaydiohead is not a band. Jaydiohead is not an artist. Jaydiohead is in fact an album created by merging the works of two established and legendary artists – Jay-Z and Radiohead- and explores territories that neither artist has ever ventured to.

Mixed by Max Tannone (also known by his alias - Minty Fresh Beats), the album combines the music of Radiohead with the lyrics and flow of Jay-Z, adding only a beat and a few notes here and there. In doing so he creates a sonic terrain that fits beautifully with both artists, making it seem as though Radiohead’s music was always meant to be integrated with Jay-Z’s flow, and making every other Jay-Z beat sound lame.

There’s a long history of Jay-Z’s mash-up albums. Starting with maybe the most important album of the entire mash-up genre, The Grey Album combined samples solely from The Beatles’ The Beatles (or better known as The White Album) with Jay-Z’s The Black Album, and in doing so attained a cult following that brought the mash-up genre to the public eye. Mixed by DJ Danger Mouse, it launched his career, sending him towards his future band Gnarls Barkley which scored two hit albums St. Elsewhere and The Odd Couple, and now into a career of producing – his latest work being Beck’s new album, Modern Guilt.

With the new demand for mash-ups and the amount of success that comes with them, mash-ups started popping out from everywhere. ‘Bands’ like Girl Talk formed, which consists solely of Gregg Gillis, a former biomedical engineering graduate student, whose albums contain only music sampled from other albums.

Still, due to the availability of Jay-Z’s The Black Album in an a-cappella version (perhaps the greatest marketing move an hip-hop artist has ever made), Jay-Z mash-ups have flooded the market. With albums like The Black and Blue Album (Jay-Z and Weezer), The Double Black Album (Jay-Z and Metallica) and of course Collision Course the collaboration between Linkin Park and Jay-Z (even though that may or may not be considered a mash-up, being as though Jay-Z re-recorded his lyrics for the album), some were great, and some were just terrible.

So where does Tannone’s Jaydiohead fall in?

mintyfreshJaydiohead is pretty great. The mixes are usually flawless, and the vibe of the music coincides with that of the lyrics – an increasingly hard thing to do in a mash-up – and most importantly, it all flows. The majority of the songs are just plain brilliant. With songs like “No Karma”, “Change Order”, and “Wrong Prayer”, you begin to forget that you are listening to the product of two separate songs. The rest of the songs are mostly just awesome, with tracks like “Dirt Off Your Android”, “Lucifer’s Jigsaw” and “99 Anthems”, but the album doesn’t come without its flaws. It sometime drags on a bit, and there’s one song on the record, “Fall In Step” which just doesn’t pass the standard that the rest of the songs set.

Overall, the record is amazing, and is easily one of the best mash-ups in recent history. It’s easy to listen too, and disturbing absorbing – before you know it it’ll be the only thing you find yourself listening to.

But perhaps the best part of the record comes with its price – it’s free. Due to the controversy and copyright issues that plague the mash-up genre, this record (like most of them) is available for free online. Just go to Jaydiohead.com and the album is all yours.

So go out there, and whether you think you’ll like it or not, download it and give it a shot. What’s the worst that could happen?



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