An album so much better than the album it followed it's ridiculous!
Enter The Dust Brothers on production duties - I guess they had something to do with the change in the musical landscape here, and The Beasties themselves learnt from The Dust Brothers in the process. This album is so different from its predecessor it's really no surprise it sold only a tiny fraction of the copies.
The Beastie Boys get serious here. Only to an extent though, Paul's Boutique
is still very playful, and the lyrics remain 'characteristic'! There's so much going on musically across many of these tracks it does take some time to sink in. Whilst there's no obvious stand-out track, pretty much all of them bar the opener and closer have something positive.
The opening track is too short, the closing track too long, eventually descending into snatches of ideas, short fragments, none of which tie together. But, lets not talk about the bad things, the rest of this album is great!
"Shake Your Rump" opens with much improved rapping from the Beasties, then goes all funk and groove, samples galore, electronic joy. "Johnny Ryall" is similarly full of sound and ideas. "Egg Man" is a favourite of mine, with all sorts of things going on, and it just pounds (I'm doing a lousy job of describing this album, aren't I? Oh well, no matter!) - "Egg Man" makes me smile, the lyrics and their delivery are really funny.
"High Plains Drifter" is a more regular rap-type of song, although still full of snatches of interesting sound effects atop a single repeating groove. "The Sounds of Science" sounds weird and Jazzy, and whilst the vocals don't take themselves seriously, they aren't irritating for a single second, something is happening - clever production-wise, stupid in concept, but such a joyous thing! The interweaving samples are well done, it's hard to imagine them being better.
by Reviewer: Adrian Denning
(blogging at Adrian's Album Reviews