Public Enemy


How You Sell Soul To A Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul

Those of us who are paid by the word can only thank Chuck D and co for the unwieldy title of the latest PE effort, which, though displaying no evidence that the’ve listened to any hip-hop in the last 10 years, has a certain loud and unreasonable charm. Nowhere more so than on deafening rock-rap breezeblock ‘Black Is Back’ and the hefty ‘Frankenstar’. The leonine funk of ‘Can You Hear Me Now’, produced by Redman, is a standout track, while ‘See Something, Say Something’ rides on a Stax-style loop so slinky you could wear it as a scarf. There are clumsy moments too, notably the solemnly intoning children on ‘Sex, Drugs & Violence’. But the saddest feature of the album are the sample-snippets of vocals from PE’s glory days. When you constantly remind the world how great you were, it rather detracts from the good stuff you’re still capable of.

Pete Cashmore