Friday, August 25, 2006


I got my hands on a leaked version review copy of Idlewild about two weeks ago and after repeated listening have nothing exactly laudatory to say. What’s worse is that I don’t think it’s any better than Speakerboxxx/The Love Below , which is a shame because I didn’t find that any better than Stankonia. Needless to say, Aquemini was the tops for me, and, sadly, Qutkast has generally fallen off since then. Or is it simply a divergence of creative vision between Dre and Big Boi?

From what I’ve read, Idlewild the motion picture is no different from their working relationship of late. While Dre and Big Boi appear together at beginning of the film, they pretty much share no screen time for the rest of Idlewild. The same goes for the soundtrack.

Dre continues his falsetto treacle as a poor soloist on his end of the disc with cringe inducing tracks like “Chronomentrophobia”, a patently silly mess, and “Greatest Show On Earth”, which features the raspy wheeze of Macy Gray introducing herself and then saying, right after, “I don’t give a damn”. It’s actually kind of funny. “Life is Like a Musical”, a tropically cloying synth-organ-ed jaunt, could’ve been longer.

As for Big Boi, the first single, “Morris Brown”, is a particularly affecting cymbal/bass/drum banger. And that hook is killer. August horns and a wistful chorus elevate “The Train”, Big Boi weaving a typically candid narrative. And yet as a synthesis Idlewild works far better than the partitioned sb/tlb, as well as containing stronger stand alone songs – no “Hey Ya!” here, but solid nonetheless.

But of course the track no one should sleep on is “Hollywood Divorce”, featuring Lil’ Wayne, Snoop, Dre, and Big Boi. Someone turned out the lights. Creepy ass organs sound off. An electronic snare, or what sounds like one, chops up the track awkwardly. Lil’ Wayne’s sixteen is solid and sleepy, while Dre and Big Boi eat up the track entirely. Snoop’s seems like an afterthought.

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