Review Summary: Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 is more of a medley of past influences than a single new style, but it still proves to be one of the best entries in the Boy’s entire discography.
Back in the summer of 2009, I already had my tickets booked for Montreal when I heard the news. Like any white boy living in the Canadian prairies, I didn’t get to hear much live hip hop, as most artists tend to stay away from small towns surrounded by wheat. I had packed my bags and was on my way to the french capital of Canada when I heard the news: MCA had cancer and the Beastie Boys summer festival appearances, including their headlining gig in Montreal, were cancelled. And to add insult to injury, their new album, Hot Sauce Committee
, was pushed back. It was a sad day, indeed, but now that the group is feeling healthy again, the boys are continuing where they left off. After a long wait, Hot Sauce Committee
, now dubbed “Part 2”, is finally upon us. Was it worth the wait"
On Hot Sauce Committee Part 2
, things start off on a groovy note, as “Make Some Noise” fuses a reggae vibe with a crispy synthesizer, and Beastie Boys pounce in without missing a beat from their days on To The 5 Boroughs
. It’s more of an in-your-face, clean delivery style, and the beat even takes the time to switch keys for the last verse, proving to be one of the best tracks of the album. But while it is a stellar track, listeners will be surprised that it actually isn’t a sign of things to come for the rest of the album.
The beauty of Hot Sauce Committee Part 2
is that, while there are plenty of great tracks, there is still a lot of variety to be heard. Both “Nonstop Disco Powerpack” and “Say It”, for example, sounds like something from the Check Your Head
era: the instrumentation buzzes along as the boys offer some distorted, laid-back rapping, and it proves to be almost the exact opposite of the upbeat drive of “Make Some Noise”. And Hot Sauce Committee Part 2
doesn’t stop there with the variety: “Too Many Rappers” features a swelling, electronic beat, while “Lee Majors Come Again” features the boys rapping over a gritty punk riff. “Here’s a Little Something For Ya” and “OK” recall the quirkiness of Hello Nasty
, and “Don’t Play The Game I Can’t Win” sounds less like a hip hop number and more of a funk/soul number. Finally, we’re even treated to some of the boy’s fine instrumentation, as “Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament” ranks up there with some of the best stuff off The Mix-Up
But while the variety is terrific, Hot Sauce Committee Part 2
both succeeds and falters by the same token. The album boasts such a welcome variety of sounds that some fans might be disappointed that they only got a small taste of a certain style. For me, I wish there was more of a synthesizer/aggressive vibe that “Make Some Noise” so exciting, and that there was some more punk numbers like “Lee Majors Come Again”. Also, there seems to be a touch of filler here, notably in the album’s mid-section, as “Funky Donkey”, “Tadlock’s Glasses” and “Crazy Ass ****” come off as flat and don’t seem to conjure up the same excitement that the other tracks do.
After finishing Hot Sauce Committee Part 2
, I was confused as to what it was. This seems to be a re-imaging of their career rather than the introduction of a brand new style, as over the sixteen tracks, the Beastie Boys hit several of their previous sounds and vibes that they’ve experimented with over the past couple of decades. But by experimenting with their past styles, they’ve created an entirely new and invigorating experience with Hot Sauce Committee Part 2
, as it offers plenty of funky hip hop and proves to be one of the band’s best all-around releases. As for me, it just gets me excited to book another flight to see these guys: after being convinced that Hot Sauce Committee Part 2
fits perfectly well into their historic catalogue, featuring plenty of successful, fresh tracks, I can’t wait for the chance to see it live in person.
Who’da thunk that these old men can still deliver the goods after all these years"