E-mail Me! Click Here!
Louisville Music News.net
August 1994 Articles
Cover Story
Darrell Elmore
Paul Turner
Darrell Elmore
Berk Bryant
Jim Galipeau
Jan Winders
Paul Moffett
Earl Meyers
Keith Clements
Todd Hildreth
Duncan Barlow
Bob Bahr
CD Reviews
Allen Howie
Mark Clark
Allen Howie
Paul Moffett
Kevin Gibson
Bob Bahr
Kevin Gibson
Kevin Gibson
Todd Hildreth
Todd Hildreth
Cary Stemle
John Goodin
Kevin Gibson
Performance Reviews
Jean-Marie Ebel
Beverly Howell
William Brents
Allen Howie
Jean Metcalfe
Allen Howie
Pete Strojny
Allen Howie
Kevin Gibson
Jean-Marie Ebel
Bryan E. Hurst
Jean Metcalfe
Mark Clark
Wally Stewart
Bob Bahr
News Item
Eddie Davis
Jean Metcalfe
Paul Moffett
Jean Metcalfe
Michael Boehnlein
Got Shows?
Send Them To Us
Bookmark Louisville Music News.net with these handy
social bookmarking tools:
del.icio.us digg
StumbleUpon spurl
wists simpy
newsvine blinklist
furl blogmarks
yahoo! myweb smarking
ma.gnolia segnalo
reddit fark
technorati cosmos
Available RSS Feeds
Top Picks - Top Picks
Top Picks - Today's Music
Top Picks - Editor's Blog
Top Picks - Articles
Add Louisville Music News' RSS Feed to Your Yahoo!
Add to My Yahoo!
Contact: contact@louisvillemusicnews.net
Louisville, KY 40207
Copyright 1989-2017
Louisvillemusicnews.net, Louisville Music News, Inc.
All Rights Reserved  

Ill Communication (Capitol)

The Beastie Boys

It rises from your speaker cabinet like a cobra dancing in a wicker basket -- the slam-crack drums, the fuzz-thump bass, the zippa-scratch of the turntable, the soulful whistle of the flute . . .

Back up. Did he say flute?

Sure, the flute is probably the last instrument you would expect to hear in a rap song, but the track in question isn't just any rap tune. It's "Sure Shot," the opening cut of the latest album from the Beastie Boys, who aren't just any rap band.

For going on a decade, the Beasties have been the torchbearers of hip-hop innovation. Ill Communication finds them in their usual place among other rappers -- way out in front.

Into the 20 cuts on this 59-minute disc, the Boys cram more cool grooves and cutting lyrics than most other rappers generate in a career. The chameleonic Beastie sound this outing is lighter, yet more bottom-heavy than the quasi-thrash approach of their last album, 1992's Check Your Head.

Ill Communication is similar in tone to the group's breezy second album, Paul's Boutique, only with a lot fewer samples and a lot more exotic instruments. Various tracks incorporate everything from the already mentioned flute to a Hammond B-3 organ to chants by Tibetan monks. Several tunes boast a retro-70s wah-wah guitar sound. It's certainly an odd mix, but one that works seamlessly. If nothing else, the Beasties can boast that they have never recorded two albums that sound alike.

Not that there aren't plenty of Beasties trademarks here. For one thing, there's the laundry list of names dropped. The fellas manage to work in the names of everyone from Shaquille O'Neal to John Holmes to Elvis Costello to Darth Vader. There's no shortage of hilarious lyrical turns, either -- some of them incorporating those names. Movie and sports fans, check out this inspired line: "I got more action than my man John Woo/And I'm crankin' out hits like Rod Carew."

However, some of the album's most satisfying tracks don't have lyrics at all. Ill Communication includes six instrumentals, each of them with a distinctive sound and all of them kickin'.

I suppose it's worth mentioning that "Sabotage," the album's first single, kicks butt and takes names. But then so does "Root Down," "Get It Together," "Flute Loop" (that's right, more flute), "Bodhisattva Vow" and, well, everything else included here. As a matter of fact, the only drawback to owning Ill Communication is that it's impossible to skip right to your favorite tracks. They will all be your favorite.

Some artists are touched with genius. The Beasties received full body massages in it. Ill Communication is the proof.

Bookmark and Share