The Grey Album Danger Mouse Jay-Z, meet the Beatles: Only in the age of accelerating technology could someone have thought to pinch rhymes from the rapper's Black Album and synch them up to random riffs, refrains, and snippets from the White Album . The someone in question is DJ Danger Mouse, a.k.a. Brian Burton, and the result could have been a novelty worth one listen at most ? the sound of an iPod with seriously crossed internal wires. Yet far from being a wack job, The Grey Album
a free download before the Beatles' reps not surprisingly put a halt to it " is the ultimate artistic validation of technology and the mash-up. Even such praise, though, doesn't hint at its ingenious merging of two generations: the hypnotic blend of ''Long, Long, Long'' and ''Public Service Announcement,'' the ''Hova!'' shout-outs in ''Encore'' newly buttressed by the guitar snarls of ''Glass Onion,'' the childhood recollections of ''December 4th'' merged with ''Mother Nature's Son.''

(The album would have been the perfect capper to Jay-Z's retirement, had he actually retired.) Rock and rap have tangled with each other for over a decade, but rarely this seamlessly. The astonishing thing about The Grey Album is that despite its mad-scientist origins, it feels more organic than so much other music released this year. It's an experiment even a Luddite " never mind a rap or Beatle hater " could love.
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