Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2
Performer: Beastie Boys
Artist: Nas; Nasir Jones; Santigold
Engineer: Andre Kelman; Beastie Boys; Jon Weiner...
Producer: Beastie Boys...
Notes: Personnel: Andre Kelman, Mike D . Audio Mixers: Beastie Boys; Zdar. Recording information: Oscilloscope Laboratories. Once Adam Yauch discovered he had cancer in 2009, the Beastie Boys shelved their forthcoming The Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 1 and its companion volume, gradually reviving and revising the project once Yauch went into remission. At this point, they scrapped their convoluted plans to release concurrent complementary volumes of THSC and simply went forth with The Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2, which retained the bulk of the track list from Pt 1. All this hurly-burly camouflages the essential truth of The Hot Sauce Committee: that the Beasties could sit on an album for two years to no ill effect to their reputation or the record's quality. This doesn't suggest they're out of step so much as they're out of time, existing in a world of their own making, beholden to no other standard but their own. Certainly, the Beasties stitch together sounds and rhymes from their past throughout The Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2, laying down grooves � la Check Your Head but weaving samples through these rhythms, thickly layering the album with analog synths out of Hello Nasty, all the while pledging allegiance to old-school rap in their rhymes. Nothing here is exactly unexpected -- even the presence of Santogold on "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win" isn't new, it's new wave -- yet The Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2 feels fresh because there is such kinetic joy propelling this music. Last time around, the Beasties weighed themselves down by creating retro-tribute to N.Y.C., taking everything just a little bit too seriously, but here they're free of any expectations and are back to doing what they do best: cracking wise and acting so stupid they camouflage how kinetic, inventive, and rich their music is. And, make no mistake, The Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2 does find the Beastie Boys at their best. Perhaps they're no longer setting the style, but it takes master musicians to continually find new wrinkles within a signature sound, which is precisely what the Beasties do here. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Rolling Stone (p.65) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he Beasties sound exactly like themselves, cutting loose without straining to fit anyone else's idea of relevance....It's also a return to classic Beasties chutzpah..." Rolling Stone (p.69) - Ranked #14 in Rolling Stone's '50 Best Albums Of 2011' -- "[T]he unison chorales and high-speed exchanges fly by with vintage vigor." Spin (p.94) - "[PART TWO] ventures similarly deep into floorboard-rattling territory, blurring vocals via reverb and distortion like a vintage Lee Perry dub mix..." Entertainment Weekly (p.73) - "[I]n case you forgot, the Boys are happy to remind you that there is a considerable amount of lyrical diesel left in their tank." -- Grade: A- Alternative Press (p.113) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]heir focus seems to be simply aimed at having fun. It's as if the Beasties are revisiting their CHECK YOUR HEAD and ILL COMMUNICATION days..." Billboard (p.30) - "[A] consistent hodgepodge of slimy beats and no-nonsense rhyming." Clash (magazine) - "[T]he Beasties effortlessly weave together a cohesive and bewildering patchwork of sounds and astute rhymes."
In the mid-1980s, the idea of white middle-class Jewish rappers may have provoked laughter or outright disdain, but the Beastie Boys' albums and singles have shown that they are anything but a joke. After hip-hop and rock fused into the music of choice for rebellious American youth, it became increasingly clear that the Beastie Boys deserved to be regarded as true musical innovators. The release of 1989's PAUL'S BOUTIQUE began the Beasties' transition from lewd, party-seeking prankers to sophisticated, party-throwing sonic pioneers, with band members ditching the six-packs and gold chains in favor of Buddhism and social activism. The trio's newfound maturity and good-natured vibe only enhanced their success, leading to a continued streak of hit albums. Not bad for three New York City weisenheimers.
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