Beastie Boys
To the 5 Boroughs


1.0
awful

Review

by 21stcenturyschizoid USER (6 Reviews)
April 5th, 2010 | 16 replies | 2,667 views


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Beastie Boys, with lyrics by Michael Moore.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

The Beastie Boys are responsible for some of my favorite albums ever - Paul's Boutique, Check Your Head, Ill Communication - three genre-crossing and genre-defining records mixing hip hop, hardcore punk and jazz fusion. So what the hell happened with To the 5 Boroughs? Well, for one, they decided that they weren't performing enough hip hop on their albums, so they ditched the genre-crossing in favor of a electro-pop sound that was badly dated even when this album came out. Second, the lyrics so blatantly promote the group's left-wing politics that this album ends up sounding like it was ghostwritten by Michael Moore (he would name-drop "Columbine bowling" in his own rhyme if he ever recorded a rap album). None of this is particularly helpful.

The reason that people like to listen to the Beastie Boys' albums is because they're fun. In addition to being lyrically humorous, it's worth listening to their records just to find out which genre they'll jump into next. Paul's Boutique practically created alternative hip hop, and the samples are cross-cut in such a way that the album sounds like what would happen if Frank Zappa made a rap album. Check Your Head and Ill Communication throw back to the Beasties' punk days with live instrumentation, and incorporate elements of jazz-funk into the mix, along with the punk and rap tracks. "Sabotage" is a rap-rock classic.

There's nothing particularly memorable about To the 5 Boroughs, other than the fact that the Beasties' inflated egos have allowed them to believe that this album is a "tribute" to New York City. I think there could have been better ways to pay tribute to your city. One of them would be to record with different New York-based musicians and create an album that flowed in and out of the various sounds New York can produce. Another would be to not drop anti-American rhymes like "we need a bit more gun controlling" and "we got a president we didn't elect".

More overtly, the music sounds bad. There's nothing inventive or clever about anything in the way that To the 5 Boroughs is organized or recorded. The music is hollow-sounding. The Beastie Boys were supposed to be the band that sounded different from other hip hop groups. These guys were supposed to be inventive, fun. This album is not original or clever. It's painfully dull. By lacking any resemblance to the original, alternative band that they once were, the Beastie Boys have produced an album that is insulting to their fans and the public at large. The Beastie Boys can do much better than this.



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user ratings (381)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
Richard Craig (3)
...

Toby B. Noto (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Brylawski
April 5th 2010



709 Comments


A 1 is way too low. The 2.5 rating was made for this record, as its mediocre in every respect. Save the 1's for Brokencyde and Attack Attack

LepreCon
April 5th 2010



3593 Comments


No way is this a 1

porch
April 5th 2010



8451 Comments


no way is this a 3.5

Urinetrouble
April 5th 2010



5754 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

album isnt as good as past efforts, but come on, a 1. this had some excellent songs on it. hello nasty is by far their worst

bloc
April 5th 2010



34679 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

IF YOU (IF YOU)

WANNA KNOW (WANNA KNOW)

THE REAL DEAL ABOUT TEH THREE

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

Bulldog
April 5th 2010



3796 Comments


Good review, but I'm not quite sure you justified the rating.

PearlDrummer20
April 5th 2010



1089 Comments


a 1? geez, I didn't really like the album but it's definitely not a 1. I do like Ch-Check It Out and
Triple Trouble

Fuff24
April 5th 2010



1118 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Not A 1. The epitome of 2.5, but not 1

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 5th 2010



30882 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

All you trekkies and tv addicts
Don't mean to diss
Don't mean to bring static
All you klingons in the fuckin' house
Grab your backstreet friend and get loud
Blowin' doors off hinges
I'll grab you with the pinchers
And no i didn't retire
I'll snatch you up
With the needle nose pliers


Album's a 3, obviously. Review's fine and all, just a little more detail in areas is needed


Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

Emim
April 5th 2010



26506 Comments


Nowwwwww, here's a little story....

po0ty
April 5th 2010



486 Comments


You spend more time saying how awesome their other material is instead of explaining your 1 rating..

AtavanHalen
April 5th 2010



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album has some beast tracks on it. Time To Build, Check It Out, Triple and Open Letter are all awesome.

Spec
April 5th 2010



27062 Comments


good summary haha

JulesWin
April 5th 2010



993 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"the Beastie Boys have produced an album that is insulting to their fans and the public at large"

and you my friend have created a review that is insulting to everyone who reads it. You need to do a better job justifying your rating

KebertXela
April 6th 2010



367 Comments


Thank you this album sucks.

ZacharyHansen
June 7th 2012



175 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I disagree with you're rating, just because this is one of my favorite B Boys albums (mainly because they dropped the
genre crossing). I always disliked they're boring jazz instrumentals, and their punk rock tracks are normally weak as well
(with respects given to Sabotage). I hated when they started messing with their vocals (ie. "Check Your Head"). I don't
think this is horribly written and makes some good points ("Another would be to not drop anti-American rhymes like "we
need a bit more gun controlling" and "we got a president we didn't elect".). Just either support the rating of a 1 more or
rethink you're rating. That is all.



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