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Outkast - Speakerboxx / The Love Below


Review: Dean Allen

EASILY the most experimental and envelope-pushing hip-hop/rap/funk/soul album of the year.

What is essentially two separate solo albums, from Big Boi and Andre 3000, stitched together to form the new Outkast long-player.

With no cohesive link between the two, it's a fascinating insight to see how different the influences are between the two.

Big Boi's Speakerboxx is the more conventional affair ,with it being more like the previous album, 'Stankonia'.

A frantic collection of hip-hop beats and rap, with a huge line up of guest stars, from Ludacris to Jay Z, providing what, on its own, would be one of the best rap albums of the year.

Stand out tracks such as Bowtie; The Way You Move and Church have a groove that is reminiscent of Prince when he was great.

If there is one connection between the two sides, it is the influence of Prince in his prime.

Undoubtedly, the highlight of both albums is the magnificent Hey Ya, which will have even the sternest of people getting up to dance.

While nothing can compete with that song, The Love Below is a full-on funk/soul extravaganza.

Happy Valentine's Day, Prototype and Spread are deep, down and dirty and the introduction of brass and jazz are a revolution to the now tired world of hip-hop.

With such a vast number of tracks, and the required interludes, some are hit-and-miss, but cutting it down to one album would have missed the point.

The genre has needed a revolution for a year now, and here we've found the future of hip-hop.

Track listing:
Disc: 1
1. Intro
2. GhettoMusick
3. Unhappy
4. Bowtie Featuring Sleepy Brown & Jazze Pha
5. The Way You Move Featuring Sleepy Brown
6. The Rooster
7. Bust Featuring Killer Mike
8. War
9. Church
10. Bamboo (Interlude)
11. Tomb Of The Boom Featuring Konkrete, Big Gipp & Ludacris
12. E-Mac (Interlude)
13. Knowing
14. Flip Flop Rock Featuring Killer Mike & Jay-Z
15. Interlude
16. Reset Featuring Khujo Goodie & Cee-Lo
17. D-Boi (Interlude)
18. Last Call Featuring Slimm Calhoun, Lil’ Jon & The East Side Boyz & Mello
19. Bowtie (Postlude)

Disc: 2
1. The Love Below (Intro)
2. Love Hater
3. God (Interlude)
4. Happy Valentine’s Day
5. Spread
6. Where Are My Panties?
7. Prototype
8. She Lives In My Lap
9. Hey Ya!
10. Roses
11. Good Day, Good Sir
12. Behold A Lady
13. Pink & Blue
14. Love In War
15. She’s Alive
16. Dracula’s Wedding Featuring Kelis
17. My Favorite Things
18. Take Off Your Cool Featuring Norah Jones
19. Vibrate
20. A Life in the Day of Benjamin Andre

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