After my third listen, it's good but not particularly lighting my world on fire. "Finger Lickin' Good" is probably the best track on it, great use of samples though I find the lyrics to be a bit ignorable. The vocals create a beat and texture but the words themselves just turn into a mush as I'm listening; any of their other stuff I know doesn't seem to suffer from this issue. I think I'd enjoy this more as an instrumental album, the keyboard and organ playing is really tasty on tracks like "Something's Got to Give". I'd probably lose most of the rock tracks, which sound like an imitation of Rage Against the Machine to me (though I'm going to guess that the influence goes the other way). The funkier tracks work way better and I think if the whole thing was slinkier, I'd probably dig it more.
At the end of each play through, I end up wanting to listen to Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited thanks to the large chunk of "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" played during "Finger Lickin' Good". Speaking of which, there is an amazing sitar sample at around 2 minutes that Who Sampled doesn't list, anyone know the source? I could loop that bit for hours.
Right anyway, i'm not a big Beastie Boys fan, i know a bit here and there and saw them at EP that time years ago and they were great.
My favourite stuff on here is the stuff that screams Beastie Boys, i.e. the stuff with heavy rapping going on in it. Those songs couldn't be anyone else.
I'm a bit torn about the rest, it's all really good but some of it is slightly pastiche-y (like the aforementioned Funkadelic tribute) and I wonder if they're a little bit like modern google-rock bands, just writing stuff in the styles of their record collection?
It is cool that you can get a hardcore Sly & the Family Stone cover on an album and also some songs that wouldn't sound totally out of place on a Sly & the Family Stone album themselves but in the age of Spotify is this kind of album redundant? We no longer need acts to point us towards music that is just a click away.
It's been a bit of a chore to listen through it all the way 3 times but I'll probably just blame that on the 90's. It'd be a lot better if it was cut down anyway.
I'm the complete opposite to that. I like all the bits that aren't rapping.
I've listened more than 3 times now (probably 5 or 6 at this stage), but I'm at the thursday deadline I always give myself with these albums.
Where I'm at is basically, I'm torn about whether I expect I'm gonna end up loving this or hating it. But thats doing a lot better than I thought when I saw this album put up. I had preconceptions, based on the handful of songs I knew previously. The 'hits'. I know you can't fully judge a band on their 'hits', but 'hits' are songs that others have decided are the best songs/songs that will have the farthest-ranging appeal, right?
I hate that 'Fight For your Right to Party', 'No Sleep til Brooklyn', 'Sabotage' stuff. HATE it.
Which is why I'm surprised I didn't instantly hate this. The first listen kind of washed over me and what stood out, if anything, was the guitar and the organs. And I found them pleasant.
On the second listen I started to notice the rapping a bit more and, like @Cornu Ammonis , I wasn't overly impressed with the lyrics. They were pretty weak, to be fair.
That was underlined by repeated listens and I'm starting to like the earlier songs on the album less and less.
So I'm less convinced I'll end up liking it overall because of that.
Someone else mentioned 'filler'? At this point the filler seems to be the rap stuff, but thats kinda what Beastie Boys are meant to be all about, the rap, right? So if I'm thinking their bread-and-butter to be filler, we're probably not getting off on the right foot here.
I'll keep going with it because theres enough there so far to get my interest.
After a week of listening, if were to give a mark out of 5, I'll give it a (generous) 3. The last song alone earns most of that.
In summary: Interesting enough to not dismiss immediately, but not enough to know it won't be dismissed eventually. Better than expected, based on low expectations and negative preconceptions.
There was a cool oft-rotated MTV sting/insert/thingy circa '92 that had Something's Got To Give on it, if anyone remembers that? Or TV, or M*TV? Probably had visuals of youths skateboarding on their skateboards and that. Haven't listened to this album in a long time btw, will maybe give it another while just in case**
*Music... I know!! Mad. Now it's all The Real World and Ozzy Osmond
** i.e. a long while - I loved it then but had a bad experience lately where a random album reacquaintance*** didn't go so well so don't want to sully my beastie boys memories. Tivoli gig in '94 though - you can't take that away from me!