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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

Yeah, so, the sophisticated boom-boom-room boom-boom booming out over the roofs is now fiddling less with diddle-skittles and 'stead making more with whole rainbows of fruit flava. and it begets a sweet tooth. So, y'know, lend me some sugar, b'cause I am your neighbor, and in this hood the cars paisley park'd up on blocks are rockin' to a block-party partying on the punch-drunk funk of Big Boi's punch'd-up 808 and André 3000's princely showman's persona — he all hip-hop Willy Wonka and all, he the one most seem to think is stealing the show out from under Boi's Charlie Bucket nose on this two-become-one solo-discs-as-double-album jamboree. I mean, it's from Dré's The Love Below that we get served the best damn single o'th'year, "Hey Ya!" And it's from that song's promotional rock-video that we get served the André-as-the-winner idea, as The Love Below suddenly b'comes a sprawling pan-musical band knocking out this next-level hip-hop shit like the tite-ist of old-timey combos, and not just the name of Mr.Benjamin's half of this pop-cultural monument. It's easy to hear how folks have fallen in love with the Love, too, with André's sophistifunk all sly sophistication and non-hip-hop-ist fashion, largely making do without rhymes as he gets freaky funky and balladic-ly bitter and skittishly super-silly and, then, on close, closes with a life in the day in which he dallies in that Dalloway way through the history-of-OutKast-thus-far in a spoken-word bit almost as impressive as their all-time kicking-your-ass classic "Spottieottiedopaliscious." That they were doing that five years ago, on Aquemini, also shows that they've been working up to this departure point, this jump-off where they make a leap of faith off of the commercial carousel that's served them so well, for much of a decade. OutKast have always been almost, like, above the regular affections and affectations of hip-hop, and, here, especially when Dré's chasing the love below, they just seem like themselves at their most idiosyncratic. Like they've been working up to this, but that it's always been this they've been working at. Hip-hop heads with their heads in the sand may be decrying (or declaring) the disc's scant resemblance to basic beats-and-rhymes, but, really, for those long riding this Kast express, the scenery will still seem familiar. Well, aside from some of the kinda dubious jazz-like bits that bubble up in The Love Below, which is, if we're to do the comparing, much more of a wild ride than Speakerboxx, with the way it veers wildly b'tween the utterly wonderful (like "Dracula's Wedding" and that "Life in the Day of Benjamin André") and the kinda dubious ("Behold a Lady," "Take Off Your Cool"). Big Boi plays his bat a little straighter, his half often resembling a hip-hop disc in the way he parades famous guests and plumps his protégé Killer Mike and finds times for rhymes and speaks more of social issues than emotional ones. But trying to sticker him as stick-in-the-mud stuck in the old ways is taking the idea of these two discs as competing too far. B'cause, like, aren't they like two sides of a coin or something?

by Anthony Carew

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