The Mix-Up

Studio Album by released in 2007
The Mix-Up's tracklist:
B for My Name
14th St. Break
Suco de Tangerina
The Gala Event
Electric Worm
Freaky Hijiki
Off the Grid
The Rat Cage
The Melee
Dramastically Different
The Cousin of Death
The Kangaroo Rat

The Mix-Up review

Beastie Boys are going back to their regular average

A tendency that the recent Beastie Boys' albums have displayed didn't seem to be as inspiring as their oldest fans could wish. First of all it took Beastie Boys six long years to follow their Hello Nasty with To The 5 Borrows, which in fact doubled the average time between releases of their albums. And secondly, Michael "Mike D" Diamond, Adam "MCA" Yauch, and Adam "Adrock" Horovitz focused manly on making purely sample driven tracks with abundance of microphone duels as if they were about to leave their funky air behind in favor of rap rooted vibe. However, their new album The Mix Up strikes both of the points, in a good sense of the word, of course. As Mike D himself said in one of his interviews: "We are going back to our regular average" meaning gaps between the albums and "On this record we went 180 again and said, 'Okay, let's not sit behind the computers. Let's just play some music together…" So, as you have already guessed, Beastie Boys decided to arm themselves with live instruments again and deliver some old good funky groove. But this is not the main peculiarity of The Mix Up; the thing is that the band's seventh album is a completely instrumental affair.

The Mix Up is a mixture of funk, lounge and psychedelic

The most suitable comparisons that may describe the new album's stylistic are Beastie Boys' Check Your Head and Ill Communications. It has the same familiar lounge feel and heavy organ layers. So if you liked the instrumental tracks from those albums you will definitely appreciate the new ones. However these references cannot reflect the inner context of The Mix Up in a full measure. The album borrows piles of nice funk-soul-blues moves from a huge number of different artists and bands. "As different as that might be from To The 5 Boroughs, it's equally different from instrumental songs we've done before, this one has different influences, like Public Image Ltd., Gang of Four, the Slits, Killing Joke," explains Mike D. But don't expect to hear tracks charged with blasts of Beastie Boys' energy here, the album is rather an unhurried walk along the evening summer avenue, the rhythms are smooth and the flow is fluent and sticky. To cut a long story short, The Mix Up is a peculiar mixture of funk, lounge and psychedelic ingredients, it is not as loud as one could expect it from Beastie Boys, the overall atmosphere is rather chill out and relaxing, which makes this record really good for headphone backup or late night after parties.

The Mix Up …to be continued?

From the technical viewpoint the album stays up to the mark. The sound is well produced and besides Beastie Boys received a helpful aid from keyboardist Money Mark and percussion player Alfredo Ortiz during record sessions, which naturally made the band's sound more complete. The compositions themselves sound fun and easy, bearing no unnecessary complexity. The great thing about instrumental compositions lies in that fact that they are able to break the standard structures of a verse-chorus type because they simply don't have them. Such tracks as Off The Grid, The Rat Cage and The Kangaroo Rat turned out to be really good in this respect. Actually 14th St. Break or B For My Name deserve high praises either. Yet, nevertheless, a certain part of the tracks evokes a feeling that primarily they were meant to have a vocal part, which eventually was never added, though, overall, it doesn't grate upon the ears, the entire record sounds quite coherent, just like a studio album should. The rumors about this record affirm that The Mix Up serves as a peculiar aperitif before the next album; they say that Beastie Boys want to re-record this album with different vocalists. So, the admirers of this restless New York trio have a chance to get ready for the following funky bomb already today. The Mix Up is intended for the old time fans of the band and those who loves a peaceful funky mood in the first place. Though this album will suit those who want to understand the very essence of Beastie Boys, the album brings nothing cardinally new but everything is done really tastefully.

Rate review2.97
Total votes - 34

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