Going back to a time when everything was better is often a good move, which is what the Beastie Boys have done with their all-instrumental release The Mix-Up.
Similar sounding to the lounge-jazz tracks from previous releases Check Your Head and Ill Communication, this album won’t blow your mind, and the general consensus is that everyone would rather put one of those albums on instead.
It does however fill the silence with sexy bass and organs, topped off with Mike D’s simple drumming. It’s an album you’d put on to chill out to and drink margaritas in a smoky (well, not anymore), dimly lit jazz-bar and wondering who these cool as hell dudes are on stage wearing Raybans and pork-pie hats. Just don’t expect any banging tracks in the same vein as Intergalatic, etc, etc.
Because of the extreme laid-backness and easy listening vibe of The Mix-Up, it’s hard to pick a standout track or tracks for this, as it all blends together into one smooth groove and isn’t meant to be taken too seriously, but ‘Rat Cage’, ‘Off The Cage’ and ‘The Melee’ do it for me a bit more than the others.
Saying that, this shows that the Beasties still enjoy going back to real instruments and are much more talented musicians than pretty much every new, complete bollocks indie band coming out every other week. This album could have been made at any point in the Beastie’s hiphop career, and fingers crossed, is the lead-up to something much bigger.