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Review by
E.C.McMullen Jr.
Methods of Mayhem
MCA Records


Tommy Lee is one of those folks who have been many things in his career. He started out dressing in gay drag with a moosed out hair style and lipstick. Later the Crue went for plain old glam and finally a more natural look with Hooligans Holiday. These days Tommy, now 38, is going for the young gang-banger street hoodlum look. Part of the reason maybe, is that he just ain't pretty no more. But mainly the reason is that he is Tommy, and Tommy never stands still. He's a Bullworth, maybe, but one that is far closer to the truth than Warren Beatty could ever accept or tolerate.

The album starts out badly with "Who the Hell Cares". TiLo handles the first verse rap and Tommy Lee handles the hard rocking chorus. Snoop Dogg brings up the rear and just rehashes the same thing he's been on about for the last 6 years and nothing new is happening.

"Hypocritical" is just TiLo and Tommy Lee and it all falls right into place with a genuine rage. Unbelievable that someone like Tommy has enough on the ball to actually make a sound political statement, but there you have it. This one is tight.

Overall the album is sporadic with lots of heavy mixing and no real musicianship. Tommy is breaking away from his Heavy Metal roots on this one to be sure. Some other guests that come into the album are Lil Kim and Freddy D on "Get Naked". I can listen to Lil Kim all day. I know it ain't fair to the other guys but what can I say? Any album that features Lil Kim is never going to be a total waste.

There are moments, like in "New Skin" when it is all Tommy and when that happens he can't get out of his hard Rocker ways. While this album has some sore spots - its still pretty good. Overall you come away with a funny feeling though. The album is basically about how oppressive this country (the U.S.A.) is in a land of no opportunity. Yet all the artists featured here got real rich real young, regardless of their backgrounds. It's real precious to go on back to the squalor of where you may have come from and toss out dimes and free autographs. I'm sure it warms the cockles of the old folks at home when you tell them that you are still down with their poverty. But being world famous and rubbing elbows with the wealthy and wearing diamonds on your pierced genitalia and all the other trappings of materialism puts one helluva thick wall between the Hollywood rich and the Watts poor. You can ride your limo's and go "sportin' life slumming" in your favorite 'hood all you want. The real oppressed don't have all of that and it is unlikely they will live long enough to even smell it before some maniac 8 year old pops them dead in the hopes of making his testicles drop.

That's the real world and few are rapping real about THAT, though many are praising the fantasy of it.

Still, this is Tommy Lee we are talking about and is compadre is TiLo who, according to the notes in the CD booklet, "smokes too much dope". So I understand why the world has a funny look that way. Altogether though, METHODS OF MAYHEM is a decent start for Tommy Lee's new beginning.

3 Perplex Skulls

Perplex SkullPerplex SkullPerplex Skull

This review copyright 2000 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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