Livin' in the City

Studio Album by released in 2005
Livin' in the City's tracklist:
I Love Livin' in the City
How It Be
That Ain't Right
The Preacher
Ballad of NYC
Is Ya Alright
Gave Up on God
City Boy
Girl With the Scar
Mi Corazon
Will I Be Ready

Livin' in the City review

There are a few unmistakable traits that undeniably sum up who the Fun Lovin' Criminals are and what they do. Firstly, they are always cool. No matter what Fun Lovin' Criminals record you put on the stereo, you can be assured that the trio are going to sound like the smoothest guys you ever did meet. Secondly, they cross genres a lot. Some misguided people believe that the band is merely another hip-hop group when this is quite certainly not case. Sure most of their success has come from hip-hop kinds of songs, but they are a live band that plays such a wide variety of music. From lounge to rock, funk to Latin – Fun Lovin' Criminals almost have something for everyone. The final thing that is unmistakable about the band is that they are from New York. When you hear them there is a certain sensory element that cannot be explained – but it seems preposterous to even imagine such music coming from anywhere else in the world. The latest offering from Fun Lovin' Criminals is indeed their love letter to their home, New York City.

Livin' In The City is a modern rock album which incorporates a variety of instruments and musical styles, hip-hop beats & rhymes, jazz & latin rhythms, mellow grooves and traditional rock & blues riffs, along with a lot of bad boy humor. Title track, I Love Livin' In The City starts off on positive form like the hedonists tourist board, all honking cab samples, aplomb beats and late night bar guitars. But before we rush for the airport, How it Be has them banging on the piano and moaning about the things they see when out dog walking. It becomes clear that over the years they have learned as many musical styles as ways of getting onto celebrity guests lists. At turns it's out and out rock, honky tonk blues and even Ska on That Ain't Right. Similarly, the mood flits between party lust, social commentary and battles with inner demons. The album features the piano led Gave Up On God and mellow riffs like Will I Be Ready and the classic love song Where Do I Begin. Elsewhere, FLC have fun playing cops and baddies. The first single, Mi Corazon, is a kind of Loco part two and a latin rock smash.

Much like the Beastie Boys, Fun Lovin' Criminals are and always have been about New York. They were self-modelled cartoon gangsters; musical Goodfellas who played cards, chased women and smoked blunts to a sharp suited mix of hip-hop and blues. Several years later they are in a slightly more reflective mood. What we get is a sort of cross between the playfulness of their first two albums and a Fun Lovin' Criminals version of Marvin Gaye's What's Going On'. All the bitterness and anxiety is wrapped up in big, grizzly bear hug of enduring enthusiasm for city life. The tempo may have come down but it is far from out. In fact, it feels more like they are crawling out from a prolonged stint in the gutter and brushing off the dirt. Where they'll go next is anyone's guess. They may have toned down the criminal angle but back in Manhattan they are still loving the fun.

(03.10.2005)
Rate review4.21
Total votes - 14


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