Blog friend Katy and I were discussing the Beastie Boys the other night, comparing our favorite songs. Hers was “Sabotage,” mine “Hey Ladies,” which surprised her for some reason (maybe she hasn’t seen the off-the-wall video — Free James Brown!). I think our choices are interesting, just because they highlight the differences in our music tastes. Katy enjoys mostly rock, while I tend more towards the funkier tunes. Which is why it may surprise you to find out that I’m pretty sure I’ll hate the new Beastie Boys album. As you may know, the new album The Mixup is entirely instrumental, which raised my hopes a little, only to dash them when I heard the leaked song “The Rat Cage.”
I tried, really TRIED, to like it. I did. But in the end, I just ended up thinking, “This sounds like me and my friends in high-school dicking around and jamming in my basement, except with keyboards.” Don’t get me wrong, we were pretty good. But we were 17, we weren’t professionals and we sure as hell didn’t have six studio albums under our belts. The video above, for the song “Off the Grid” didn’t help much either, and I found myself thinking the same thing, like “Have they suffered brain injuries? Why isn’t this awesome?” That guitar noodling in the beginning of “Off the Grid”? Straight out of the first chapter of So You Want to Be a Jazz Guitarist? and the second chapter of Jazz Guitar for Dummies (they go a little slower).
This is all really disappointing, since I’ve been a fan of the Boys’ instrumental stuff on their other albums, especially Check Your Head and Ill Communication (a lot of which ended up on The In Sound from Way Out!). Those songs might not have always been stellar groundbreaking additions to the canon of American music, but they were fun. And they were GOOD. I just hope the rest of The Mixup adds up to more than these first couple leaked songs.
Beastie Boys – In 3’s Beastie Boys – Pow (from Check Your Head) Beastie Boys – Ricky’s Theme Beastie Boys – Sabrosa (from Ill Communication) Beastie Boys – The Rat Cage (from The Mixup)
posted by Adam