May 03, 2011 - Capitol
The Beastie Boys are back. Not just in the sense that it's been seven years since we've heard a proper album from them (2007's The Mix-Up was all instrumental), but on Hot Sauce Committee Part 2, they're back back. While '04's by-the-numbers hip-hop disc, To The 5 Boroughs, was a solid effort, Hot Sauce has the Boys (well, men) playing with their instruments again. It sounds fuzzy, the songs are kinda rough, and there doesn't seem to be any ambition to make a hit—their focus seems to be simply aimed at having fun. It's as if the Beasties are revisiting their Check Your Head and Ill Communication days, minus the massive singles. Don't get the wrong idea, though: It's not just some washed-up old dudes trying to recreate their finer moments. The Boys sound rejuvenated, especially on the terrific "Too Many Rappers," which features Nas—it's impressive how fresh their verses sound considering how long everyone involved has been in the game. "Make Some Noise" is a grimey slice of funk that's topped with a sea of tripped-out rhymes—it'd be shocking if you don't groove to it. The song showcases their stellar musicianship too, which isn't always as noted as their vocal skills. The Beasties prove they've still got what it takes to rock the house—Hot Sauce was definitely worth the wait.