Thursday, June 28, 2007

beastie boys are known to let the beat...mmm-DROP...

i may get clowned for this, but i still got love for the Beastie Boys, even after all this time. they never pretended to be anything other than what they are. granted, during their Licensed to Ill period they kinda had the frat boy contingent by the nuts by trying to out-drink and out-obnoxious them (think "Fight For Your Right To Party" video - a classic example of becoming what you make fun of), but we're all young and stupid at some point. you kinda have to allow for that. the progression in their work speaks for itself.

as much as i dig hearing them on the mic, their live instrumentals are something to behold. back in 1996, they released an album called The In Sound From Way Out!, which collected their instrumental work from the Check Your Head and Ill Communication full-lengths. it was a genius idea and it made for a great listening session - funky, chill, and just plain good. it still remains one of my favorite releases from them, so imagine my delight to find out that their latest album is all new instrumentals from Ad-Rock, Mike D, and MCA.

just released on Tuesday, The Mix-Up catches our beloved Beasties in the moment on guitar, drums, and bass along with guest musicians. this is that summertime bbq type ish, a musical brew of the funky soul, latin jazz, and fuzz-filled rock that comes together just right. i probably sound corny writing this, but i've been sitting with this album for a good three weeks and it sounds brilliant every time i play it. some cuts are more hard-hitting than others: i recommend "14th St. Break," "Freaky Hijiki," and "The Melee" to give you some idea of what you can expect with this one. our Boys are well-traveled men at this point, having learned a lot from the trials and tribulations of beats, rhymes, and life. it shows in the way that they ride the groove throughout the album, paying respect to the sounds and musicians that came before them with every guitar strum, bass slap, and in-the-pocket drum break.

yeah i know, i'm probably reading more into instrumentals than i should, but notes can say more than words more often than not. if your memory of the Beasties is a fond one but you thought they didn't bring it on To The Five Boroughs, or if you never felt them lyrically to begin with and wondering why you should care about the new album, give The Mix-Up a day in court. don't be surprised if you find yourself rocking this one while gettin' your grill on over the 4th of July weekend...

p.s. getting back to their lyrics for a minute, as quiet as it's kept, they could get at somebody when they needed to. ever hear MCA's closing verse on "Professor Booty" (from Check Your Head) where he's taking it to MC Serch? "i'm bad ass, move your fat ass, 'cause you're wack, son / dancin' around like you think you're Janet Jackson." seriously, go back and listen to that cut (or just click here to read the lyrics). i think the 3rd Bass cut "Sons of 3rd Bass" from The Cactus Album is what brought that on. Serch and Prime Minister Pete Nice didn't have the nicest stuff to say about them. and MCA wasn't goin' out like that. i say he brought it...

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