Beastie Boys
Paul's Boutique


5.0
classic

Review

by somberlain USER (64 Reviews)
March 29th, 2010 | 277 replies


Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A mind-bending, genre-defying classic deserving of all the praise it receives… and then some

The year of 1989 was the height of the sampling era in hip-hop and it produced three great albums: De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising, Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and the Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique. Public Enemy’s album has been considered by many as the best hip-hop album ever made but Paul’s Boutique reaches further than hip-hop and is simply one of the best albums ever, regardless of genre.

After the incredible success of their debut Licensed to Ill the Beastie Boys parted ways with their label Def Jam and moved from New York to Los Angeles. There they discovered the dense mash-ups of the Dust Brothers, a group of DJ’s whose claim to fame at that point was Tone Loc’s ‘Wild Thing’. The Dust Brothers were working on an instrumental album and the Beastie Boys thought that it would be the perfect backdrop for their sophomore album. As busy-sounding as these mash-ups were, the Beastie Boys and the Dust Brothers managed to create an incredible kaleidoscope of sound where several seemingly random sounds are pieced together perfectly to create an amazing album. When looked at the pieces separately there is no way that it should work but somehow all the intricate layers are put in the right place to create something that wouldn’t be matched until DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing, seven years later.

The production doesn’t just serve as a canvas for the Beasties to rhyme over, it is woven into the actual rhymes themselves. On ‘Eggman’ for example they take a clip from a “Cheech and Chong” movie to complete a line: “Drive by eggings plaguing L.A. [Yo, they just caught my little cousin, ese]” and on ‘The Sounds of Science’ they use a line from a reggae song to complete a rhyme: “Rock my Adidas, never rock Filas [I don’t sniff the coke, I only smoke the sensimilla.]”

The Beastie Boys’ rhyming style was a notch above Run DMC’s call and response on Licensed to Ill but they step it up even further for Paul’s Boutique, the interaction between MCA, Mike D and Ad Rock is amazing with every member coming in at precisely the right time, the actual lyrics might still be about nonsense but as goes the old adage “It’s not WHAT you say but HOW you say it.”

The final track ‘B-Boy Bouillabaisse’ is actually nine songs combined into one 12 minute epic that is a microcosm of the album: beats switching, all three MC’s taking turns on the mic and all of flowing in such a natural way. What’s astounding about the production (besides that fact that over 100 songs were sampled) is the way one sample blends seamlessly into the next, artist like Curtis Mayfield, The Ramones, The Beatles, The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and many others seem to coexist together no matter how different their musical styles might be, in addition to that, the Beastie Boys dig deep into their pop-culture rolodex and reference Fred Flinstone Jacoby & Meyers, Sadaharu Oh and Galileo! Both the lyrics and the beats are an assortment of ingredients thrown into the blender and resulting in perfection.

It’s cliché to say “There will never be another (insert name of classic album)” but that truly is the case for Paul’s Boutique, there can never be another album like this, why? Because of copyright laws, the cost of clearing all the samples used on this album would simply be too high and it would be impossible to release another album like this.

Paul’s Boutique is a densely structured masterpiece that reveals more and more layers upon repeated listens both sonically and lyrically. Panned by critics upon its release and considered a colossal flop commercially,(it eventually went double platinum, still seven million copies short of its predecessor) it has withstood the test of time and twenty years later, it stands alongside some of the best albums ever made, in any genre.

Recommended tracks:
‘Sounds of Science’
‘Shake Your Rump’
‘Eggman’



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Comments:Add a Comment 
somberlain
March 29th 2010


2121 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I think this album is STILL underrated!
I recommended Beck’s ‘Odelay’ because the Dust Brothers produced it


Urinetrouble
March 29th 2010


5764 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

album rules. inspired so many trip hoppers

Bulldog
March 29th 2010


3796 Comments


YAY YAY YAY

Hip-hop is alive and well at Sputnik.

somberlain
March 29th 2010


2121 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

you need to hear this already Bulldog

Mars Blackmon
March 29th 2010


351 Comments


Great review. I need more Beastie Boys

Urinetrouble
March 29th 2010


5764 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

bulldog hear this; his name is celph titled. hes sick

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfdDiIiDsh4&feature=related

Bulldog
March 29th 2010


3796 Comments


never that big on the beasties boys. more "when im in the mood for them" kind of group for me.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2010


17222 Comments


lolwut

bloc
March 29th 2010


34919 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome album.

Yotimi
March 29th 2010


6521 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

my fave hip-hop album of all time.

2nd to last paragraph reminds me that I'm still waiting for the new Avalanches album. Sad.

MUNGOLOID
March 29th 2010


4333 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i don't think i've ever heard another album sample so many different genres of music with this level of perfection.

Bulldog
March 29th 2010


3796 Comments


Like, Gucci Mane I can jump into at any time. I just can't jump into this at any time.

Not saying they're bad, because they aren't. They're rather good. It's just they're not an everyday, anytime thing for me, is all.

Mars Blackmon
March 29th 2010


351 Comments


Bulldog you should get a big avatar for the amount of times you've said "Gucci Mane" in everyone of your posts

JulesWin
March 29th 2010


993 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"my fave hip-hop album of all time"

and yet it's only a 4.5?

Jebull
March 29th 2010


1340 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm a High Plains Drifta.

WatchItExplode
March 29th 2010


3272 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

SCOPED EM' WITH MY SCOPES, HE HAD NO HAIR...

I still remember about 80% of the lyrics to this album...its genious can never again be duplicated

Digging: Giant Squid - Minoans

Bulldog
March 30th 2010


3796 Comments


Bulldog you should get a big avatar for the amount of times you've said "Gucci Mane" in everyone of your posts


Yes I should, and I'd be sure to make it a Gucci Mane avatar.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
March 30th 2010


31349 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Now I rock a house party at the drop of a hat
I beat a biter down with an aluminum bat
a lot of people they be Jonesin' just to hear me rock the mic
they'll be staring at the radio
staying up all night
so like a pimp I'm pimpin'
I got a boat to eat shrimp in
Nothing wrong with my leg just B-boy limpin'


Pos'd


Yotimi
March 30th 2010


6521 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@Juleswin - I'm not the biggest hip-hop fan. Don't love this quite enough to 5 it.

EBTCardMania
March 31st 2010


512 Comments


It's awesome picking out all the Beatles samples in "The Sounds of Science".



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