Beastie Boys – To The Five Boroughs Review

 Rating: 9.0

It’s been over 6 long years since the Beastie Boys have graced our headphones and turntables with a new album. It was well worth the wait. Beastie Boys is one of the most exciting groups that I have come across, with their mastery of a very diverse group of genres and fun demeanor. They can’t be classified; they are the Beastie Boys.

To the 5 Boroughs is somewhat different from every previous release of theirs to date, but they still manage to come with the signature Beastie sound, minus the obvious (vocals). This album is reminiscent of Paul’s Boutique feel and similar to the futuristic, electronic hip hop joints on Hello Nasty. Basically, it’s a good mix of their older and newer hip hop.

I could go through the whole album, but I will highlight a few of the gems. The album starts out with the popular radio track “Check it Out”, which has a great, old school style breaks over the infamous brass stabs. When I dropped it in the car stereo, I also found that the sub bass is deep and super heavy because “nothing sounds quite like an 808.” That brought a smile to my face and I never should have doubted these geezers.

“Rhyme the Rhyme Well”, has my favorite beat on the album, and the song is a bit dark which is somewhat new to the Beastie Boys. They also drop plenty of fresh lines such as “I’m not even asking, yo what’s crackin’ / serving mc’s on a platter like a baked alaskan.”

“Oh Word?” and “The Brouhaha” are just plain bangers that could get any party started. Both start out with infectious, simple electronic melodies and progress into some nice body moving business. I can barely call any of the songs fillers, they seem to blend nicely together.

The crystal clear production on this album is also amazing. To the 5 Boroughs won’t let down the fans of the goofy, bizarre lyrics that the Beastie Boys are well known for. For example, “I got more rhymes than Carl Sagan’s got turtlenecks” and “I got a baddazler so my outfit’s tight.”

I can’t see any real Beastie Boys fan, who has grown up with them for years, not liking this album. Listening to this album makes me want to put on a walkman and go skateboarding (or fail miserably at trying), like in the old, nostalgic days of Check Your Head and Ill Communication. I knew I would like this album before even listening to the first track, so it’s quite hard to give it a bad review. I have one question. How many crews can fit kugel or Ron Popeil into their rhyme scheme? Not many. These guys could make an entire record out of kitchen appliance sound effects and it still would be amazingly funky.