Monday, May 25, 2015

Beastie Boys - "Check Your Head"

Beastie Boys - Check Your Head
1992, Capitol

1. Jimmy James
2. Funky Boss
3. Pass the Mic
4. Gratitude
5. Lighten Up
6. Finger Lickin' Good
7. So What'Cha Want
8. The Biz Vs. The Nuge
9. Time For Livin'
10. Somethings Got to Give
11. The Blue Nun
12. Stand Together
13. Pow
14. The Maestro
15. Groove Holmes
16. Live At P.J.'s
17. Mark On the Bus
18. Professor Booty
19. In 3's
20. Namaste

Paul's Boutique, the B-Boys' sophomore album was a critical success even if that didn't translate to spectacular sales. For their follow-up, Check Your Head, the band picked up instruments and decided to be all experimental and what not. The result is, not surprisingly, very experimental - mixing their old school hip-hop with funk, alternative rock, and even some world music. I remember I had a friend at church once that had recently got the album and was like, "Man... I don't know what's going on with them!" I could see where it could be quite a shock to someone not prepared for it. Let it be known that the instrumentation is stellar and, might I say, who knew Adam Yauch was such an accomplished bass player? Honestly, though, I don't like this one quite as much as Ill Communication because I think there could definitely stand to be a bit more actual rap on here. That being said, I can also see why a lot of people cite this one as their favorite.

Useless Fact: Biz Markie does some "singing" on "The Biz Vs. the Nuge." It's awful... or sublime. I depends on what you think of Biz Markie.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Beastie Boys - "To the 5 Boroughs"

Beastie Boys - To the 5 Boroughs
2005, Capitol

1. Ch-Check It Out
2. Right Right Now Now
3. 3 The Hard Way
4. It Takes Time To Build
5. Rhyme the Rhyme Well
6. Triple Trouble
7. Hey F**k You
8. Oh Word?
9. That's It That's All
10. All Lifestyles
11. Shazam!
12. An Open Letter To NYC
13. Crawlspace
14. The Brouhaha
15. We Got The

Well... I guess I'm not done. I can't not do this. I can't. So... let's just forget that last post where I said I was done, okay?

Anyway, our first stop on the Beastie Boys tour is To the 5 Boroughs which a lot of fans think is one of their worst albums. Naturally, I love it. I used to own this back in the day and got rid of it, but I can't remember why. It's just straight forward old-school rap without any distorted vocals or instrumental experimentation. There's also a lot of profanity and leftists politics but that doesn't bother me anymore (maybe that's why I got rid of it way back). I'm just too old to get upset by people expressing their opinions - though I do disagree with some of the things they say on here. It's definitely not the genre-bending, boundary defying stuff they were trying in the 90's that's for sure. I think they just wanted to do an old-school album and pay tribute to their hometown - especially after 9/11. They do this quite admirably in the title track. No, this album might not be "their best" but it's catchy and clever nonetheless and I think it deserves a bit more credit than it gets.

Useless Fact: Notice the cover art has the twin towers pictured even though this came out in 2005. The liner notes also include the lyrics, which is rare for a rap album.