It's scary how the beastie boys are yet to release an album that doesn't live up to expectations of the public, or dissapoint any fan for that matter (well that I'm aware of anyway, but that'll change soon enough). To tell you the truth, I wanted to purchase this album for the cover art alone, the New York cityscape. The Beastie Boys clearly show their love and respect for NYC as the Twin Towers are erected clearly and proud, even though the release date is 2004.
This album is the first to have a more freestyle feel to it, with most beats created by the world champion DJ MixMasterMike (recruited in 1998) with nothing but a single turntable and a mixer - much like hello nasty's 3 Mc's, the album is pure raw Hip-hop.
1. Ch-Check it out - The first single from the album. Oh what you sayin? The first sample before Mike cuts in thats first signature trumpety thingy.... The beat is quite genius, a simple drum beat with a single note repeated over an over as MixMaster cuts it in as he feels appropriate. Awesome and comical Beastie-esque lyrics. 'hey doc, what's the condition? I'm a man that's on a mission, son you'd better listen stuck in your ass is an electrician. 'Aaaaaah! get busy!- this is the ending sample line on the track. Awesome stuff. 4/5
2. Right right Now now - A much more chilled song, very political taking many stabs at the U.S government. 'Im getting tired of this situation, the U.S attacking other nations.' and the rising gun crime in America 'Columbine Bowling, childhood stolen we need a little more gun controlling.' we also see Mixmaster bust out an amazing scratch solo after Mike, Adam and Adam have spitted their first verses. Another awesome track, yet quite short, but the lyrics crammed in makes up for it. 5/5
3. 3 the hard way - This song doesn't fit the Beasties at all. It tries too hard to be what one might call 'gangsta'. It seems like mindless dissing of something no-one really cares about. The beat is very dull as well, a snare then a bass....over and over - a horrible album cut.1.5/5
4. It takes time to build - I don't agree with the lyrical structure of this song. It isn't all over the place insane Beastie style, but a fixed pattern. Not even an enjoyable pattern like 'Egg Man' but again another bleak track with an irritating clangy overdub in the chorus. Give it a miss. 2/5
5. Rhyme the rhyme well - Another single. we are saved from the previous two tracks and given a real chilled Beastie hip-hop beauty. It has a very eerie bass melody on the top of a rather interesting drumbeat. Again the lyrics triumph over all, 'cornbread stuffin, with the blimpie bluffin, Mutha' ***in Yossi with those god damn muffins!' A short sample of a man saying 'weeell is repeated a lot, with a nice relaxing array of 'ssshhhh's' to end the track. A must hear, but again it's a bit short.
6. Triple trouble - Starting with Adam blurting out a terrible false english accent (not taking a dig because I'm british btw) but it soon picks up the pace. A rather odd choice of samples to create a beat from, but the clangy tin can sound works very well. Another short scratch solo is used, not as impressive and 'Right now' but it goes with the flow. most of the lyrics are Jibberish - just like the old days :). A good choice for a single. 4/5
7. Hey *** you - Once again this song isn't our traditional beloved Beasties, once again we experience an irritating and boring beat with slow paced lyrics. The gangsta sound doesn't fit the album or the band. Ironic since the chorus is 'If you don't like it then hey *** you!'. The sample towards the end is quite catchy, but that's it really. 2.5/5
8. Oh word? - This tune is just so cool and funky, could've been on Pauls Boutique. Before each mc's verse it states their name in a cool cyborg voice, I bet they had loads of fun playing with that effect. Lyrics are up to scratch 'that's word to aunt Shirley, and you could stick your head in the toilet ang give yourself a swirley!' the beat is mostly bleeps and blips with a robotic lick over the top. More great stuff and probably my favourite track of the album 5/5.
9.That's it that's all - very Hello nasty, brilliant chorus with funky watery effects. Lyrics are still pleasing, 'look what the cat dragged in, the creme de la creme without the skin'. It's not really a stand-out track but when you take the time to listen to it it's really well strcutured. 3.5/5
10. All Lifestyles - A wierd train like effect is used after every Mc change, which in turn gets very annoying after a while. The chorus is catchy and the blips and bleeps come back during the chorus, put to good use. A nice message put across in this track, as the beasties are shouting out to every lifestyle, all shapes and forms. 3/5
11.Shazam - Probabably my least favourite track as the beat resembles someone sitting on the toilet with chronic diahohrea. A short track, which doesn't have anything special going for it. 2/5
12.An open letter to NYC - Another one of my favourites, a really cool creepy tremolo guitar riff is used all the way through, with a simple Bass and snare drum beat. The lyrics are all about the Beasties paying their respects to NYC, the Ramones would be proud.' Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and, Staten - from the Battery to the top of Manhatten, Asian, Middle-eastern and Latin, Black, White - new York you make it happen. Excellent track and another must hear. Also the fourth single from the album. 5/5
13.Crawlspace - The style of lyrics are very subtle, another dissing track, but this time it feels like the real beasties. this also could've been on hello nasty, the music is spaced out and Funky. the lyrics stand-out well in this song and merge with the music well. 'You better think twice before you start flossing, i've been in your bathroom often - I'm in your crawlspace'. 4/5
14.the Brouhaha- This is an awesome track, Mixmaster at his best, and the Beasties doing what they do best. very Funkadelic, the lyrics are the way they should be - all over the place, with Mike cutting the beats in accordingly, and another awesome scratch solo. An ace pen-ultimate track. 5/5
15. We got the (power) - Another clangy guitar similar to NYC, But faster and carries the melody, with bass using the guitar chords in an arpeggiated formation. The cadence to this song hurts the brain though, It's the syllable of the last lyric sped up about a thousand times and increased gradually in volume. An acceptable track to go out on. 3/5
Overall, another great hip-hop effort from the Beasties, the album fits together very well. However, there are too many half-arsed album cuts, which can easily be skipped - but the beauty of the Beasties is the flow and listenability of their albums. Awesome stuff though. I'll give it a four as their career has been almost flawless.4/5