Outkast – Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

September 24th, 2003
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Outkast – Back Again X 2

Big Boi and Andre 3000 have come back from the land of Stankonia and brought 2 discs, dedicated to their own musical influences and obsessions. Speakerboxxx by Big Boi and Andre 3000’s The Love Below are very individualistic endeavors, the former being influenced from old school hip-hop and rap. The latter, on the other hand, is… an amalgamation of sorts.Big Boi’s Speakerboxxx has an almost nostalgic feel to it, with quick staccato drumbeats a la the Roland 808 synthesizers, horns, record scratching, and upbeat tempos running throughout. Big Boi’s guests are a veritable who’s who of hip-hop, from Jay-Z, to Cee-Lo and Ludacris. His smooth voice is definitely the driving part of this disc, with his fast lyrical flow and sharp, slightly off-beat, lyrical content.

Andre 3000 opens up The Love Below with a jazz club feel, and deviates much more from the standard hip-hop traditions with influences of acid jazz, Van Morrison, James Brown, and traditional rock present in many of the tracks. The Love Below tends to sound more like a number of various artists, which makes it a fascinating, proactive listen.

Outkast’s newest album focuses on how different these two artists/producers are, and where music tends to draw them personally. While this album can be eccentric (especially on The Love Below), it seems almost normal for Big Boi and Andre 3000. The two discs are both opposite sides of the same coin.

By Fred Pilarczyk Posted in Reviews