Zachary Cole Smith has overcome a multitude of problems to make this intensely powerful album
Although always infinitely more entertaining when playing dress up for the videos to ‘Sabotage’ and ‘Intergalactic’, Mike D, Adrock and MCA have plenty of previous when it comes to serious musicianship. On their legendary ’90s albums they knocked out smokey grooves to give anthems like ‘Root Down’ or ‘Pass The Mic’ breathing space. But ‘The Mix-Up’, the hastily recorded (by their standards) follow-up to 2004’s criminally underrated ‘To The 5 Boroughs’ is repetitive, two-dimensional and couldn’t involve more noodle if The Mars Volta played their local Wagamamas. So, unless you’re trying to grow a beard and want to speed the process up, you’re unlikely to get anything from the throwaway likes of ‘14th St Break’ and ‘The Rat Cage’.
If you want to start a Beastie Boys collection, don’t even think about beginning here. Instead, pick up second-hand copies of ‘Paul’s Boutique’, ‘Check Your Head’ and ‘Ill Communication’. These albums show the gang of three at their most innovative, funny and politically outspoken. And, if you really want an album of instrumentals, root out their 1996 compilation ‘The In Sound From Way Out!’, because ‘The Mix-Up’ finds the Beastie Boys with nothing much to say, in more ways than one.
The film adaptation of R.L. Stine's classic horror novels is shockingly enjoyable
A defiantly bangerless take-me-seriously-as-an-artist album that reveals new charms every time you spin it
The utterly gripping story of how The Boston Globe exposed child abuse within the Catholic church
Hitmaker-for-hire makes a silk purse out of songs rejected by Rihanna, Adele and others