Speakerboxxx/The Love Below



by USER (6 Reviews)
January 16th, 2005 | 124 replies

Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

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 is beautiful.

Key Tracks on Speakerboxxx
Unhappy - 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.

Bowtie (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.

The Rooster - 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
Prototype - 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.

Hey Ya! - You've probably heard this one as well. Nice, energetic song, with a catchy chorus, no wonder it was such a popular song.

Roses - 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.

Dracula's Wedding (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.

Final Verdict
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.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
May 5th 2004


I love this album! Ya did a fine job reviewing it, laddy. I agree with you except on the final score. Maybe not quite a 4.5/5, but still mighty fine (mighty fine!).

May 5th 2004


I'll admit that The Love Below is more appealing to me because it's a little more out there and the hip-hop world needs more people who play more organic instruments (e.g. The Roots). Big Boi sticks with what he knows and pulls it off exceptionally well on Speakerboxxx, though, so it's really a matter of personal tastes. Personally, I like TLB more than the Box, but that's just me. Most people think Big Boi's disc is better than Andre's, including the notorious indie folk at Pitchfork.

And what about you, Ganon, King of Thieves?

May 5th 2004


Outkast is one of the only rap/hip-hop groups that doesn't make me cringe when I hear them. They're so universally appealing, it's uncanny. Good for them!

May 5th 2004


I think Speakerboxxx is better. I think the highs in The Love Below outshine those in the aforementioned, but I think Speakerboxxx is more consistently good from song to song. Though I think spread is my favorite song on any of them. Everyone should download it. I'm gonna go listen to it right now. WHOA!

40 oz 2 freedom
May 5th 2004


This is a great album. It seems like every time Outkast puts out an album its a breath of fresh air for the Hip-Hop world. :thumb: :thumb:

May 6th 2004


[QUOTE=YDload]Outkast is one of the only rap/hip-hop groups that doesn't make me cringe when I hear them. They're so universally appealing, it's uncanny. Good for them![/QUOTE]

It's because they are the only mainstream hip hop artists not to sing about ****ing women. Seriously, they are the only hip hop group (in the mainstream) that aren't disposable.

I don't like Roses, and haven't heard any of The Love Below yet, but have heard a few tracks off Speakerboxxx. I must say, it is superb.

August 1st 2004


Wow, this review is a few months old. Did you really go through all the trouble to resurrect it just to say that you don't like it? I think you spent your time well, then. There is nothing better or funnier than people who make fun of rap music.

August 1st 2004


I was disappointed with this album. I'm glad my brother bought it instead of myself.

Try Atliens or Stankonia. Excellant albums. I thought Andre 3000 went soft on this album. Their older work is far superior.

August 1st 2004


This 2 disc album really smells like poo poo poo!

Dimes Make Dollars
August 1st 2004


I have it, but I haven't gotten around to listening to Speakerboxxx yet. The Love Below is brilliant, though, and it's definitely not rap. It's more of a R&B/soul/Prince album.

August 1st 2004


Yo, Outkast are my homies cuz they from the ATL. And so is Luda, so ATL is dope yo.

October 25th 2004


i like 'Bust'
and of the two, id say speakerboxxx is the better half, for its agression
(i listen to metal)

also outkast have an album called 'big boi and dre present outkast' which is a greatest hits compilation. get it.

October 25th 2004


I was also dissapointed with this album. I expected it to be really creative, and found it to be rather bland and 'let's sing about bootys'.

October 25th 2004


Album Rating: 2.0

[QUOTE=Tapeworm]I was also dissapointed with this album. I expected it to be really creative, and found it to be rather bland and 'let's sing about bootys'.[/QUOTE]

Got to agree with that. There are moments of utter genius, but they're too few and far between.

March 11th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Im conflicted, because the love below is one of the best albums ive ever heard. but Speakerboxxx is just... eh.

May 19th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

I couldn't agree more, D4MVP. The Love Below is incredible and Speakerboxxx blows.

Dimes Make Dollars
May 19th 2006


Two years after my last post here, I absolutely love both albums. Is there filler? Yeah. But it doesn't detract from either disc, it just helps add personality.

Brain Dead
May 19th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

I agree with Iluvatar here. I liked Speakerboxxx more. Ghettomusick, War?, and Toom Of the Boom were all very good songs in my opinion.

July 3rd 2006


THis is a lot of stuff for one release. Good shit too.

July 7th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Lol, don't forget to mention spread, that's a hell of a song

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