Beastie Boys - Hello Nasty - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Beastie Boys - Hello Nasty

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:1998-07-06

On their previous album, Ill Communication, the Beastie Boys expanded their parameters yet again, melding cutting-edge hip-hop with slinky jazz, butt-wiggling funk, weepy classical, and combustive punk rock. Four years down the line, the group's music isn't nearly as organic. They've all but abandoned the guitars and returned to the kind of old-school beats and rhythms that defined their groundbreaking 1989 disc, Paul's Boutique. But Hello Nasty isn't a regression, and it's anything but a cop-out: in addition to resurrecting the best elements from their past, the Beastie Boys have embraced the dopest high tech gizmos of the computer age. Hello Nasty gurgles like galactic sulfur pools, whizzes like a Sega game, and slurps and thumps like the best backward Hendrix loops. Add in a cavalcade of Latin percussion, calliope keyboards, and exotic samples (Stravinsky, Stephen Sondheim, Jazz Crusaders, Rachmaninoff), and you're left with one of the most creative and jubilant hip-hop records to date, even if you exclude witty lyrics like, "I'm the king of Boggle / There is none higher / I get 11 points off the word quagmire" ("Putting Shame in Your Game"). To paraphrase über-critic Robert Christgau, Paul's Boutique may have been the band's Pet Sounds, but Hello Nasty is the Beasties' Sgt. Pepper's. --Jon Wiederhorn

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