Some folks mature a lot more quickly than others. The Beasties came across as juvenile young’uns on their first album, yet as 23-24 year olds produced this gem follow-up.
It is truly an enormous leap. Gone are the simple backing tracks, replaced by funky sample-fests. Each song is a new adventure, with sounds coming from all angles, along with the raps. There’s bass aplenty, soundgrabs from over 100 sources and an unprecedented feel of mastery that still holds up today.
The culprits behind all this were the blessed Dust Brothers (don’t click on that link if you’re epileptic, or if you have your speakers up load – otherwise go for it). This production team make this album a real treat. The last track, B-Boy Boullibaise is a twelve minute sonic extravaganza with nine suites and a killer Johnny Cash sample.
Bravo to the Beastie Boys for recognising the brilliance of their producers, and also for laying down some fantastic rhymes. Of course, their maturity didn’t extend to the lyrical content, so we can still smirk along as they go egging cars and chasing the ladies all over NYC.
This album makes my quite regretful of my limited progress from the age of 19 to 24 (or indeed 30).
File under: B-Boy brilliance