Record Routine: Run The Jewels remixes album with cat sounds

Let me start off by saying that this album is most definitely not what I was expecting. Instead of a parody album with all lyrics replaced by cat sounds (as I expected), Meow the Jewels is an album of Run the Jewels 2 remixes done by prolific producers featuring the original lyrics over crunchy, minimalist, dark tracks with a few cat sounds methodically placed within the productions.

Without fan support, this album would not have been brought to fruition. Run The Jewels was able to fund Meow the Jewels through a Kickstarter campaign, raising over $60,000, and all proceeds of this project will be donated to charity. 

Perhaps not through coincidence, many of Killer Mike and El-P’s verses contain allusions to cats on the original album, and these bars deliver a sense of recognition to the producers’ work on the remix album, as well as a sense of humor. The names of the tracks have also been changed to cat-related terms: “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry” to “Oh My Darling Don’t Meow,” “Lie, Cheat, Steal” to “Lie, Cheat, Meow,” and so on.

The original Run the Jewels 2 is the prime example of producers overdoing tracks in order to create songs that provide some sort of shock value to the listener. This overproduction is a major turnoff for fans of the artistic side of production, the kind of production that feels like you’re floating in space or taking a walk at four in the morning. Meow the Jewels reverses that trend with a twelve-track product that erases the annoying overproduction of the original album with spaced-out minimalism, several tasteful samples and a certain type of terror that fits this time of year very well.

“Oh My Darling Don’t Meow,” “Pawfluffer Night,” “Paw Due Respect” and “Angelsnuggler” are a few of the clear highlights of this album, as their gritty background noise, lack of heavy beat and revolutionary style elevate this album above many other projects that have been released this year. 

El-P and Killer Mike likely did not expect their remix album to outdo the primary release, but the eclectic and overzealous approach on Run the Jewels 2 does not satisfy as the darker, minimalist style of Meow the Jewels does. Don’t judge a book by its title, a project by its title, because this is one of the most provocative and entertaining albums of the year thus far. Perhaps Run The Jewels’ third album will take after the artistic success of this satirical tour de force.

Grade: A

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