Although Beastie Boys had released two albums in the last decade, I honestly haven’t listened to anything of theirs since 1998’s Hello Nasty… and that album is one of my all time favorites. I was happy to hear that Adam Yauch was doing well after his bout with cancer… and happier to hear that they were dropping their newest album, Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 on May 3rd. As I mentioned earlier today, someone over the weekend had leaked their clean version of the album online… and the Beastie’s one upped them and released their explicit album on their website and is streaming that in it’s entirety. Now that I’ve had a bit of time to give it a quick listen I’m pleased to say that Beastie Boys are back!
The album opens with their first single off the album, Make Some Noise. A very analog sounding, old school rap piece. Heavy kick and heavy distorted bass… which seems to be a running theme throughout the album.
The third track (I made note for myself as I listened to the album…. all I wrote after this song was “awesome”) is titled OK… and is much better than just OK. Opening with some funny little electronic noises (another running theme with this album) and distorted lyrics, the song bounces along quite nicely… and bouncing is the best way I can describe this track.
Followed by Too Many Rappers [New Reactionaries]… a much slower and dark feeling piece occupying what seems to be an analog/digital meeting of the minds.
The highlight of the album for me comes on the seventh track, Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win. A dub/reggae infused tune with female backing vocals and a great sex drenched feel that would very at home in a humid tropical sandy dance floor. I may be very off based on that… but that the feel I’m getting off of this.
The ninth track is an odd little tune opening with an Asian sound and going into a very Beck-like Information-era digital boogie titled Funky Donkey… I don’t know what it’s all about, but I dig it.
Sprinkled throughout are little under a minute ditties to help fill out this sixteen track album… and at track thirteen we get an instrumental, Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament. Possibly one of the more classic Beastie songs is a punk tune right before the instrumental… Lee Majors Come Again. That’s not to say that all of these have a very familiar sound that has been sadly missing from our pop cultural landscape for far too long.
Towards the end we are given a great couple of tracks at fourteen and fifteen… Here’s a Little Something For Ya and Crazy Ass Shit. Both reek of old school and the latter even has some kids singing the chorus in what I can totally imagine as little double dutching girls in pigtails singing “on and on ’til the break of dawn”… very cool.
It may not be the 1990’s anymore… but between this release and the Foo Fighters latest, things are certainly beginning to take a very flannel like hue… fortunately it’s the 21st century and the Beastie Boys have finally joined us. Welcome back boys… great to have you back!
Listen to the full streaming album here.
I like my sugar with coffee and cream,
Cornelius J. Blahg