Well, well, well. If it isn’t the erstwhile hero of early 2010s chap hop, Professor Elemental. He’s back, and this new album catapults us right back to the world of time-traveling, trouser-exploding, tea-drinking, knee-worshipping whimsy.
In the vein of earlier albums like “The Indifference Engine”, “Father of Invention”, and “School of Whimsy”, this one tells a loose narrative of Professor Elemental’s adventures vs. the forces of time and space.
The nemesis of the album’s title is one Constable Problem of the Time & Punishment Division. A very traditionally Dixon-of-Dock-Green policeman who imprisons the Professor in an alternate dimension for crimes against time travel and/or deleting Constable Problem’s wife out of existence. It’s almost a limited choice of narrative, given the vast panoply of characters who could be filling this role, but this is after all, a character steeped in British colonialism with difficulty around intersecting systems of oppression (“Get off my case / Chap hop is a parody of class not race”) …so I guess we’ll take it?
That said, there are some lovely tracks in here (“I Love Libraries” FOR A START). The whole is quite eminently listenable. And the Prof has BARS. Some sorely needed whimsy for 2021.
GMR Artist: No
Play: 2, 6, 7, 9, 11, 17
RIYL: Blackalicious, Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer, chap hop in general
We still miss you, Jeffrey.