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109 of 115 found the following review helpful:
Big Boi and Andre 3000: Two Sides of A Platinum Coin Sep 26, 2003
For nearly ten years, Outkast has done what few hip-hop groups have been able to: grow as artists and push the limits of the genre without losing their core fan base. While the evolution of Outkast as a group has lead to four classic albums, the groups MCs also evolved as individuals. Big Boi emerged as the conscious pimp, both representative and critic of the streets, while Dre began to focus on the more abstract and spiritual. With their latest release, each gets to express his individual vision on a solo disk, yet the results manage to stay within consistant evolution of the group.
Big Boi: Speakerboxx - While many considered Dre the innovative half of the group, Speakerboxx proves that Big Boi is every bit the visionary that his more eccentric counterpart is. The production is an aural buffet, filled with funky horn riffs, driving electronic groves and soulful melodies which take southern rap to a level of musicality it has never before seen. On top of it all, Big Boi's continued growth as an MC is evident throughout, whether he is waxing political ("War"), spiritual ("Church"), or simply bragging on his pimp game ("Bowtie"). And when placed along side the album's A-list guests in straight up spit fests, Big Boi manages to hold his own with the south's cameo king, Ludacris on "Tomb of the Bomb", and out shine Jay-Z on the ridiculously funky "Flip Flop Rock". And long time Outkast fans will be rewarded with a blast from the past on the contemplatively soulful "Reset", which uses the soulfully airy minimalism of ATLiens, a perfect juxtaposition to the sonic circus that is the rest of the album rest of the album. Taken by itself, Speakerboxx would likely be the best hip-hop album of the year so far.
Andre "Ice Cold" 3000: The Love Below - Where Big Boi chose to push hip-hop forward on his disk, Andre's album reaches back to more fully explore the influences from other genres that made Outkast what it is. A concept album, which follows one man's trials and tribulations in the search for love, The Love Below bears more than a passing resemblance to Prince's Parade. The rollicking electro-funk of "Happy Valentines Day", the cheeky raunch of "Spread" and the intentionally vague sexuality of "She Lives in My Lap" all draw liberally from the Purple One. But they also pull it off better than the legions of Prince imitators we have seen over the years. In fact, it could be said that Andre made has made the best Prince album in quiet some time. But a closer listen reveals that Dre is far from a one trick pony. The lingering ballad, "Prototype" is sublime, in spite of Dre's limited vocal range. "Hey Ya" begins as a campy, early Beatles inspired lark, but somehow evolve into a sublime mix of modern rock and classic funk/soul. "Roses" and "Dracula's Wedding" are dark grooves that manage to be at once dancable and eerily brooding. And just when the listener is fully absorded in Dre's new incarnation as a neo-funkateer, the disk concludes with "A Life in the Day of Benjamin Andre", a rap track that sums up the stories of the album in a concise five minutes and makes us hope that even as he grows more eclectic, he never gives up rhyming.
19 of 19 found the following review helpful:
The Love Below/Speakerboxxx Sep 27, 2003
I want to start this out by saying that Im not a huge rap fan, but this is still an incredible album. Of the two albums Andre 3000's The Love Below is the better and more interesting of the two. He strays away from any traditional rap sound and carries a more funky jazz vibe. My favorite tracks on the album are Love Hater which is basically a laid back jazz tune, Spread which is extremely funky, Roses with a cool piano intro and a catchy chorus, Hey Ya! with its acoustic guitar, awesome synth riff, and chorus, My Favorite Things is a crazy reworking of the original, Dracula's Wedding is short but sweet, and Vibrate is funky with great lyrics.
Big Boi's Speakerboxxx is my second favorite in this double album. It seems to stick to a more traditional rap style but is extremely funky. Ghetto Musick is a great track with a great backing track and chorus, Bowtie with crazy horn lines and great hook, Bust is a great track with a hard rock edge to it and great raps, War is a song about the problems in the world today, and Church is a great funky track. Definitely pick this album up if your looking for some music that isnt afraid to try something new in a genre that needs new life.
13 of 13 found the following review helpful:
How does it NOT live up to the hype??? Sep 25, 2003
2 discs... 2 totally different styles.
First, Big Boi's "Speakerboxxx": Fire from the get go. You first put it in and you notice Ghettomusick, Bowtie, The Way You Move, The Rooster, Bust, War, Church, Tomb of the Boom, Knowing, Flip Flop Rock, Last Call... pretty much the entire CD. Play it in your car, play it loud... it's awesome.
Second, Dre's "The Love Below": Takes some time to get used to, but then its just as hot if not hotter than Big Boi's. My favorite tracks on Dre's CD are: Roses, Happy Valentine's Day, Dracula's Wedding, A Day in the Life of Benjimann Andre, Hey Ya, and pretty much the whole CD, especially after I got used to the sound. Some get at Dre for ditching the rap, but he said it himself that Hip Hop doesn't inspire him anymore. Just because he has an interesting and different voice does NOT mean he can't sing.
Give this album a try... especially Dre's side. Most fans will appreciate Big Boi's side at first but once you listen to Andre's more than once or twice you will realize its true greatness.
58 of 71 found the following review helpful:
SPEAKERBOXXX/THE LOVE BELOW Nov 10, 2003
The genius of two men: Andre 3000 & Big Boi shine on this 2-disc album titled SPEAKERBOXXX/THE LOVE BELOW. Aready worldwide superstars, Andre & Big Boi take their incredible new hip-hop/funk/jazz/soul style into the mainstream. Here are the track highlights for the best songs.
Disc One - SPEAKERBOXXX
"Ghettomusick" is a fast-paced thrill ride with an electronic/techno sounding beat to back it up. Big Boi uses his high energy raps and slows down in-between to make an amazing first song.
"Bowtie" is a funky, infectious, pimp-flavored anthem where Big Boi brags about all he's got. The hook, as well as the rhymes, are all very catchy and solid.
"The Way You Move" is the infectious, jazz-influenced lead single that is bringing the sales of the album to a whole new hight. The rhymes and the soulful hook make this a great song.
"The Rooster" is another jazzy-type track where Big Boi asks you to "put ya back in it".
"Tomb Of The Boom" is a good straight-forward hip-hop track featuring rhymes from Ludacris on the side. Great song with infectious rhymes.
"Last Call" is a crunked-up party banger that features Slimm Calhoun, Lil' Jon among others. Very good track. Followed by a needless reprise of "Bowtie".
Disc Two - THE LOVE BELOW
"Happy Valentine's Day" is a funky, stylistic track which finds Andre 3000 playing the role of Cupid Valentino -- "the modern day cupid".
"Spread" is an hard to describe song but it sounds good and Andre 3000 really sings his all on the hook.
"Prototype" is a slow love song following the worthless interlude "Where Are My Panties?".
"Hey Ya!" is the infectious, dance-floor ready first single that has millions 'shakin like a polaroid picture'!
"Roses" is a concept song about how looks aren't everything. The hook makes it clear with the words "roses really smell like poo poo".
"Pink & Blue" is a buffet of interesting sounds that is hard to describe but very good.
"Vibrate" is another interesting song with some very interesting sounds.
"A Life In The Day Of Benjamin Andre" finds Andre 3000 spitting for the first time on the album. Followed up by an untitled bonus track.
OVERALL - 4 STARS because of the needless skits on SPEAKERBOXXX and the horrific song "Love Hater" on THE LOVE BELOW.
21 of 24 found the following review helpful:
Outcast Does It Again Sep 27, 2003
Buy the album. Become infused with the funkiest Hip Hop ever. There are a couple of pages across the web with links to the "Hey Ya" video, I recommend you find one and look at and listen to the video. This is a hilarious album with all kinds of unique flavors. Do not buy bootlegs, give Outkast what they deserve!
Stank On !
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