Even though it's subtitled 'Part Two', this album was released prior to 'Part One'. Part Two
reportedly had a troubled upbringing, so ended up being scrapped and replaced with the tracks from 'Part One', which will now contain different tracks to be released after 'Part Two'. Confused? ... we probably all are.
Ad-Rock, MCA, and Mike D return then (MCA after battling cancer) ... this album mixes samples with live instrumentation, sounding like a throwback to their material pre Hello Nasty
Lead single "Break the Noise" is very much old-school yet utterly delightful, and contains a strange buzzing sound as its main melodic hook. With the live instrumentation of "Lee Majors Comes Again", the Beastie Boys are in pure guitar-rock mode, almost a thrash number before a few sampled electronic squeals enter two-thirds the way through, with a nice bass guitar propelling the track forwards.
MCA is a highlight of this set, his voice is now incredibly growly and 'lived in' - "Long Burn the Fire" is one example. So whispery and growly is his voice now he could probably get a guest spot on CSI Miami
. The instrumental "Multilateral Nuclear Disarmanent" has a very heavy bass reverberating throughout, and shows the Beastie Boys still have some production nous about them.
Nas raps on "Too Many Rappers" and fits in seamlessly, even though he just 'beamed across' his vocals (they didn't record together as such). Still, "Too Many Rappers" is very old-skool boasting yet tongue-in-cheek. The biggest left-turn the album presents though isn't any of the shorter or slightly-but-not-quite experimental tracks, but rather how well the guys produce reggae music. Santigold sings the lead on "Don't Play No Game With Me", the bass is heavy and it feels genuine - the sound and mixing is spot on - 70's meets noughties production type of stuff.
by Reviewer: Adrian Denning
(blogging at Adrian's Album Reviews