Beastie Boys: Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (Capitol)
If you don’t count the Beastie Boys’ all instrumental album The Mix Up, the Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (there was no Part 1—?) is the first new rap album from the trio in seven years.
The long layover hasn’t hurt the act now that this new disc has made its debut in the impressive No.3 spot just behind Jennifer Lopez’s Love and the juggernaut Adele who has been in and temporarily out of the numero uno spot now for nearly three months.
Anyway, this is a delightful new Beastie Boys album. The group has now been together for 25 years—a quarter of a century!—since their groundbreaking Licensed To Ill (1986) and its smash, Fight For Your Right To Party (used extensively by the Nashville Predators as theme song for their playoff run against our far superior Canucks).
But the Beasties are no longer really a groundbreaking rap/hiphop/rock act. They have carved out their own niche and it is an excellent one given the cool strengths of this Hot Sauce album that has nary a dud in its extensive 16 tracks.
What particularly impressed me was the sound of this new disc that has wonderful fat bottom bass lines that made my mediocre car stereo sound like a million bucks.
This is also a very eclectic album as well. The Beasties try their very capable hands at some dub reggae on The Bill Harper Collection, some electro/funk/scratch/rap on the opener Make Some Noise and some garage, punk-hop on Lee Majors Come Again.
I swear the nifty instrumental here, titled Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament, sounds like a backing track off The Rolling Stones’ Emotional Rescue.
The lads even tip their hat lyrically to Bob Dylan on the song Funky Donkey with “the pump don’t work ‘cause the vandals stole the handle” while my fave track here is Too Many Rappers (featuring NAS) that has hilarious college frat flatulent synths that will have the kid left in you smiling all over again.
A triumphant return to form and a blast from pillar to post.
Art Of Dying: Vices And Virtues (Reprise)
This is the major label debut from the Vancouver based fivesome, The Art Of Dying.
No doubt the lads have noticed Nickelback’s success and are hoping to earn Chad Kroeger-like Lamborghini money. However, the group would obviously settle for Toyota money a la Theory Of A Dead Man but it appears Art Of Dying won’t even be able to buy BMX bikes if Vices And Virtues continues to stiff the way it has so far.
Incidentally, this is the second album in just a few weeks that I have covered titled Vices And Virtues, given Panic At The Disco’s woeful titular album.
Anyway, there is paint by number power ballads here along with standard run-of-the-mill hard rockers where Art Of Dying’s one signature approach might be the three-part harmonies on a couple of their down tempo tunes.
Producer Howard Benson (Daughtry, Creed) has done the best that he can with the substandard material here so it looks as if the band will be promoting this album again, opening for the likes of Seether and Disturbed rather than touring on the meager strengths of this debut.
Career wise the band has lived up to its name with their brand of art.
Big Time Rush: BTR (Nickelodeon/Sony)
I have heard a few comments over the years that I give out high grades to new releases too frequently. That is true to a degree, but what some readers might not realize is that I try like crazy to avoid most of the crap I am sent in the mail and try to concentrate on the good stuff—hence the upper grades.
Anyway, I mistook Big Time Rush for some other act that I was interested in and only heard this debut album by way of mistaken identity. Like The Naked Brothers Band, Big Time Rush is a Nickelodeon TV series where the four lads act as a boy band and have since evolved into a touring boy band by natural dint.
This debut BTR hit No.3 on the USA Billboard charts, while the single Boyfriend, a mucilaginous and cloying tweeny puppy love ballad, was a minor hit.
The album, fortunately, more or less bombed in the Great White North. But young listeners who are fans of BTR might want to know that this Canadian version of the CD comes loaded with five bonus songs.
Nearly every track here is either a cheesy pubescent love ballad or a dance pop hit and the guest list who showed up for a paycheque is somewhat notable. Money whore Snoop Dogg lends a very lame and super safe rap over a remake of Boyfriend while other teen pop stars such as Jordin Sparks, New Boyz and Cymphonique all make cameos.
I appreciate that youngsters need their own brand of pop music but product like this is such a big hype that I hope they are just able to develop their own tastes some day without the shameless marketing and exploitive stratagems.