We're back to a sampled-music approach with this first album in six years from the Beastie Boys, an album that will be no doubt be fairly well-received by critics, and welcomed as an improvement over Hello Nasty
by long-term fans. Yet, I'm going to make a comparison now, and it's a valid one:
In the seventies, critics savaged each and every Beach Boys album. The name of Brian Wilson was buried amongst the writing credits, or it was cleverly disguised that he hadn't in fact written the bulk of the material, even though the credits indicated his name was involved. There were jibes ... 'Beach Men', 'Beach Boys struggle to shrug off surfing image', etc, etc. There is a point to this rant, actually ...
Seemingly, the Beastie Boys doing the same old thing they did fifteen years ago (more or less) is now acceptable. That's how much we music lovers have lowered our standards. This is a poor album to say the least. It's been six years since Hello Nasty
, and things have changed, especially as the Beastie Boys have reverted to a sound that they last tried around 1986. Christ, I almost prefer Licensed To Ill
, and that album sounds poor in 2004, very weak. I'm not American, so I'll explain that:
I'm from the UK. There are a lot of references, and always have been, in Beastie Boys music that only Americans will understand - it's a different culture - it's kind of like The Smiths or Morrissey being very English, such that typical American music fans don't get their music. And typical English music fans won't enjoy this Beastie Boys album either, because they have no cultural points-of-reference. But all of this can be overcome if the music is good. Unfortunately, on this new Beastie Boys album, the music is tired and cliched.
by Reviewer: Adrian Denning
(blogging at Adrian's Album Reviews