Ten years ago, when the Beastie Boys ruled the world, they let U2 appear on their Tibetan Freedom Concert album. It was poignant to hear U2 sound lost and confused, at their commercial and creative nadir, floundering through the vaguely anthemic "One." Poor old U2 had no clue how to connect with a Beastie-worshipping young mod world. But now, with U2 bigger than ever and vague anthems all the rage, the Beasties can be forgiven for sounding confused themselves, as they try to bring their Grand Royal chutzpah up to date. The Mix-Up is all-instrumental, digging into the familiar organ-heavy lounge funk of Check Your Head and Ill Communication. Yet it's poignant, because the Beasties play their old grooves like they realize how bad people miss them and how high their stock remains despite so many years away.
The Beasties could have knocked out all twelve jams in a lazy weekend in 1992, 2007 or anywhere in between, and the album isn't meant too seriously; Mike D still drums like Meg White's dad. But it's definitely fun to play loud on a sunny afternoon, especially the conga groove of "The Melee," the "See Emily Play"-style psychedelia of "14th St. Break," the stoner fuzak drones of "The Kangaroo Rat" and "Off the Grid." I was surprised to find the rest of the songs were not simply titled "Weedbreak, I-VIII." And despite the Beasties' New York roots, there's no punk or post-punk; if they've heard LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip, CSS or any of the young funkateers they keep inspiring all over the world, you can't tell from The Mix-Up. Hopefully, this is only a warm-up for their next big move.
(Posted: Jun 13, 2007)
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Review 1 of 8
This album is a little different, I know every word to every B-Boys song, so this one won't be hard to memorize. On that note, I can see how an amateur critic could say this is hopefully a warm up for their next big move. However, listening to the first 30 seconds of each song shouldn't be what you're basing you're review on. Hearing is simply the act of perceiving sound by the ear, where as listening requires concentration so that your brain processes meaning. This is truely another triumph by our Boys to blaze the music trail for others groups that don't get as much mainstream attention as they do. This is an album with songs that grow on you, kind of like an acquired taste, it's not another Fight For Your Right that you can scream at your parents.
Jul 13, 2007 11:43:02
Review 2 of 8
Having listened to this album the past week at work, I have to agree with the video review of this album. It's missing that what-do-you-call-it rhyming thing? Oh, Yeah. RAP! How can you be a rap act and not have any lyrics in any of your songs? It's like a Santana album without any guitar playing on it. As for the songs themselves, they are OK. It's unobtrusive background music. Kinda like a Pink Floyd song, but less annoying. Don't get me wrong. I like the Beastie Boys. I just wished they went Chris Gaines on this and released this album under a different name.
Jul 9, 2007 13:29:01
Review 3 of 8
Give me the old school funk sound anyday! The Beastie Boys yet again establish another step in the ladder of longevity. The Mix Up is a fantastic display of what listeners want to hear, in the way "the Boys" want to play it! I realize a Rap or two would have helped get alot more listeners to turn their heads, but I give it up to the trio for making my head bob the old school way...and for giving me the best album Ive heard this year.
Jul 6, 2007 15:32:57
Review 4 of 8
It would be far easy and thusly contrite, to start a review of the new beastie album and simply compare it to any other artist who attempts to cross styles and forms, while still staying true to the roots of the art form. So let's just cut the cr*p and call "The Mix Up" what it is....yet another crown jewel in the vast collection of Beastie accomplishments. Our "Boys" keep evolving, keep keepin us on the edge of our seats, by "keep keepin on I don't care what they say". Although i do have my stereo loud, much like the Boys, I'm not such much for disturbing my neighbors anymore. When I saw the Beasties perform in SF during their "To the Five Burroughs" tour, the highlight of the concert and in my opinion their musical careers, was their performance of their live, raw, soulful, acid-jazz (lounge)sets. This album is a continuation of that excellence and deserves major props especially from all of us old school (this is pre-80s folks, not 97!) hip-hop heads who cut our teeth on Char-Rock, Funky 4+ 1 more, et al and now reject and are ultimately sickened by the corporatization and gangstafication of our art form. Kudos to our boys for bangin out another one that "went to the top and never went pop and..." and kept the fire of what we all started out to do in the late 70s alive.
Jul 3, 2007 12:27:31
Review 5 of 8
OK, I love the B Boys. This album is good. Very good as a matter of fact. But I can't give an all instrumental album from a band that doesn't release new stuff more than every 2-3 years anything higher then 3 stars. I really waited this long for all instruments? I wish they had gone back to the Check Your Head days and done instrumental WITH raps. Worth the listen though
Jul 3, 2007 10:55:37
Review 6 of 8
Rob Sheffield is to writing good music reviews as Gary Sheffield is to writing good music reviews.
Jun 24, 2007 16:53:29
Review 7 of 8
Exactly! What the hell is the first paragraph about? Oh, I get it. Another Rolling Stone writer trying to be clever by bashing something that not only was previously reviewed favorably but something which will also probably end up on some "Greatest All-Time..." something list before too long. Way to be consistent. I know a good idea for a list: Biggest Pieces of Shite Rolling Stone Writing Ever.
Jun 22, 2007 06:59:12
Review 8 of 8
Rob Sheffield is the Richard Roeper of music critics. What in the world does that first paragraph have to do with the album. And, by the way, I was at the Tibetan Freedom Concert. He obviously wasn't. In terms of not connecting - how about Alanis Morrisette getting pelted with an orange?
Jun 21, 2007 13:45:04