Ok, so the two members of Outkast, for some reason or another decided to release two solo albums under the Outkast name. I think it's here you can see who brings what to the delicious melting pot that is Outkast's music.
I don't think I'll be doing a song by song review, seeing as there are like 39 songs overall, but I'll do my best to give you an overview of the two CDs as a whole. For starters, Andre's disc, The Love Below
, is quite a bit less connected to actual hip-hop/rap, and delves into the worlds of jazz, soul and whatever else quite often. However, if this leads you to believe that Big Boi's disc may be stale and boring, think again. Although his disc sticks to the more typical hip-hop style, it still branches out, with forays into techno beats and even funk guitar work on The Rooster
. Also, Speakerboxxx
has quite a few more guest appearances, such as Jay-Z, Sleepy Brown and Ludacris, among others. Andre is less generous with his guest appearances, but listening to him with Norah Jones on Take of Your Cool
Key Tracks on Speakerboxxx
- Nice, "bittersweet" feeling about it. Cool, smooth music, and the rapping is top notch, but I believe that the great singing in the chorus makes this song. If they don't have this into a single, they'd have made a big mistake.
(featuring Sleepy Brown and Jazze Pha) - Nice work on the horns at the beginning, and nice bass lines, with good rapping in the verses.
The Way You Move
(featuring Sleepy Brown) - I suspect most of you have heard this already. Great song, cool rapping, and nice chorus.
- Starts off with some funk guitar work, and more trumpets parts, then explodes into an aggressive piece. The rapping absolutely makes this song, with horns in the chorus that remind me of RHCP's If You Want Me to Stay
Flip Flop Rock
(featuring Killer Mike & Jay-Z) - Starts with a calm piano part, then in comes Jay-Z with his recognizable style. Quite an aggressive piece again, with Jay-z and Killer Mike giving great performances. This song doesn't have as many outside influences as some of the other songs, though.
Key Tracks on the Love Below
- Starts of with a nice romantic part, and then Andre breaks in, with even more romantic singing. Then the drums and bass come in, with the bass line being ever so smooth and fitting to such a beautiful song. Probably one of the least hip-hop songs on the album, and certainly one of the best.
- You've probably heard this one as well. Nice, energetic song, with a catchy chorus, no wonder it was such a popular song.
- Starts with some great piano work, jazz I believe (I don't listen to much jazz). Then the hip-hop beat comes in, with effective rapping/singing from Andre. Actually, I think Big Boi is on this song as well. I think it's the next single, and that's an excellent choice. The interaction between Big Boi and Andre suggests that they maybe should've done a few more song together.
(featuring Kelis) - Starts with Kelis's singing, distorted somehow, and this is quite a menacing song. I think that Kelis sings most of the song actually, with Andre doing the backing vocals. Later in the song, there turntable scratching as well.
My Favourite Things
- An instrumental song, really just a jazz piece with an underlying techno beat. Great stuff.
Take of Your Cool (featuring Norah Jones)
- Perhaps this song could be just a Norah Jones song, with Andre singing over the top, and that it is, but it certainly is great. Norah is strumming the acoustic in the background, and sings some parts, and Andre sing some of the others. However, I think when they both sing together; Andre kind of drowns her out, because her voice is so gentle and calming. But I guess that's the good thing about her music.
Overall, I think that this album, as a whole (both CDs) should appeal to a wide audience, with Big Boi's disc leaning more towards the rap fans, and Andre's leaning more towards an open minded audience, and there's really at least one song on the album most people would enjoy. Coming from someone who listens mainly to pop-punk/emo/rock/punk music, it's nice to listen to something different.
4.5/5, as some people will never listen to this album for the simple fact that it's a rap album, no matter how different and out there it is.