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The Tempest (album)

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The Tempest
200px-ICPtempest.jpg
Studio album by Insane Clown Posse
Released March 20, 2007 (2007-03-20)
Recorded 2006
Genre Midwest hip hop, horrorcore
Length 59:41
Label Psychopathic Records
Producer Mike E. Clark, DJ Clay
Insane Clown Posse chronology
The Wraith: Hell's Pit
(2004)
The Tempest
(2007)
Bang! Pow! Boom!
(2009)

The Tempest is the tenth studio album by American hip hop duo Insane Clown Posse. Released in 2007, the album marks the return of producer Mike E. Clark, who had a falling-out with the duo in 2000. However, he did not collaborate directly with ICP, and would not do so until their 2009 album Bang! Pow! Boom!

The album's concept compares a violent storm to a roller coaster; its lyrical themes vary from horrorcore-based character deconstructions and songs about the supernatural to humorous and lighter subject matter. Clark's production was praised by critics, and the album peaked at #20 on the Billboard 200. It is the group's 23rd overall release.

History[edit]

Mike E. Clark produced much of Insane Clown Posse's discography, as well as working with other groups on Psychopathic Records, until having a falling-out with ICP in 2000, after completing ICP's album's Bizaar and Bizzar, and beginning production on the Dark Lotus debut album Tales from the Lotus Pod.[1]

After becoming a full-time producer for Kid Rock, Clark contracted pneumonia, but ignored the illness, and began coughing severely as he awoke, leading to a three-month stay in Mount Clemens General Hospital, during which one of his lungs collapsed three times.[1] As the result of his near-death experience, Clark decided to reconcile with Bruce and Utsler. Phone conversations between Clark and Insane Clown Posse led to Clark producing Shaggy 2 Dope's 2006 solo album F.T.F.O..[1] The following year, Clark produced The Tempest; however, in both instances, he did not work with Psychopathic Records directly.[1] Because of this, ICP felt that The Tempest was missing the collaborative element that they felt made their earlier albums enjoyable.[1] Clark would not work directly work with Psychopathic Records until 2009's Bang! Pow! Boom![2]

Music and lyrics[edit]

Unlike previous Insane Clown Posse albums, The Tempest is not connected to the Dark Carnival mythology, which formed the basis for ICP's "Joker's Cards" series, which began in 1992 with Carnival of Carnage and concluded with the albums The Wraith: Shangri-La and Hell's Pit; however, it references themes, concepts and songs from previous albums.[3] Joseph Bruce (Violent J) said that The Tempest is a concept album in its own right.[4] Bruce describes the album's concept as relating to both a violent storm which turns into a tornado and pulls people into a hurricane as well as a roller coaster.[4] According to Bruce, "That's a lot like riding on a violent roller coaster, I'd assume. You get jerked to the left, jerked to the right, sucked way up into the sky, and then you go shooting down to the floor, and then you jerk up to the left and then you whip around to the right. Well, The Tempest is a storm in the form of a roller coaster."[4] As a result of this concept, the album focuses on a variety of different moods.[4]

The Tempest maintains much of the horrorcore lyrical content ICP is known for, as well as their humorous perspective.[3] Unlike previous albums, this album does not contain any disses aimed at other rappers or music industry figures.[3] Bruce and Joseph Utsler (Shaggy 2 Dope)'s rapping on this album is described by Allmusic reviewer David Jeffries as being delivered in "a carnival barker fashion that fits with their circus motif", and contrasted Bruce and Utsler themselves as being like "Alice Cooper with a mallrat attitude".[5]

The lyrics of "Growing Again", which describe Violent J growing into a giant,[3] were inspired by Bruce's weight gain; Bruce also says that the song reflects the feeling of being able to "rap about anything we want [...] I feel we have the right for some songs to be softer and not about killing or Dark Carnival."[4] "The Tower" describes a war veteran and expert marksman climbing a college tower and shooting people with an arsenal of weapons, a reference to Charles Whitman's 1966 murder spree.[4]

Mike E. Clark's production incorporates elements of rock and heavy metal, as well as live instrumentation.[3][5] Reviewer Lana Cooper of PopMatters compares "Ride the Tempest" to Flock of Seagulls, and describes the instrumentation as incorporating elements of synthesizers and calliope.[3] Cooper says that "Growing Again" incorporates power ballad chords.[3] Jeffries describes "I Do This!" as being influenced by psychedelia, and called "Mexico City" "Low Rider music".[5]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[5]
PopMatters 6/10 stars[3]

The album was released with a bonus poster.[5] The Tempest debuted at #20 on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling about 33,000 copies in its first week.[6] Reviews from Allmusic and PopMatters generally appraised Mike E. Clark's production as the album's most appealing element.[5][3] Allmusic's David Jeffries wrote, "there's no denying that Clark's vision does wonders for the duo."[5] PopMatters' Lana Cooper said that "[Insane Clown Posse's] theatrics have to be given their due."[3]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "The Sky is Falling" Insane Clown Posse Clark 3:39
2. "Ride The Tempest" Insane Clown Posse Bruce, Clark 2:51
3. "Alley Rat" Insane Clown Posse Clark 2:11
4. "Haunted Bumps" Insane Clown Posse Clark 3:24
5. "Growing Again" Insane Clown Posse Clark 4:45
6. "Hum Drum Boogie" Insane Clown Posse Clark 3:39
7. "I Do This!" Insane Clown Posse Clark 3:28
8. "What About Now?" Insane Clown Posse Clark 3:24
9. "Watch My Ride" Insane Clown Posse Clark 2:42
10. "News at 6 O'Clock" Insane Clown Posse Clark 4:06
11. "The Tower" Insane Clown Posse Clark 4:14
12. "The Party" (feat. DJ Clay) Insane Clown Posse Clark 3:13
13. "Bitch, I Lied" Insane Clown Posse Clark 4:08
14. "Play My Song" Insane Clown Posse Clark 2:55
15. "Mexico City" Insane Clown Posse Clark 3:32
16. "If I Was a Serial Killer" Insane Clown Posse Clark 7:30
Total length: 59:41

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2007) Peak
position
Billboard 200[7] 20
Top Independent Albums[7] 2
Top Internet Albums[7] 20
Top Rap 8
Top Rock 6
Tastemaker 9
Top Album Sales 20

Personnel[edit]

  • Joseph Bruce – vocals, composer
  • Shaggy 2 Dope — vocals, scratching
  • Mike E. Clark – composer, engineer, mixing, producer, programming
  • Jeffrey Campo – mastering
  • Brian Debler – artwork, cover design
  • DJ Clay — scratching, vocals
  • Insane Clown Posse — composer, vocals
  • James Mitchell — vocals
  • The R.O.C. — vocals, background vocals
  • Razor Ray — guitar, soloist, vocals, background vocals
  • Michael Scotta — artwork, cover design
  • Cindy Wulkan — artwork, cover design

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Graham, Adam (June 23, 2009). "Detroit producer Mike E. Clark turns it up with 'Murder Mix' series". The Detroit News. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Hatchet Herald, Issue 4". Psychopathic Records. December 29, 2008. Retrieved January 1, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Cooper, Lana. "PopMatters review". Popmatters.com. Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Insane Clown Posse: Enjoying the ride". The News-Times. October 10, 2007. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Jeffries, David. The Tempest at AllMusic. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  6. ^ Katie Hasty, "Modest Mouse Steers Its 'Ship' to No. 1 Debut", Billboard.com, March 28, 2007.
  7. ^ a b c "Insane Clown Posse Artist Chart History: Albums". Billboard. Retrieved August 19, 2008.