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After the out-of-nowhere success of Licensed to Ill, the Beasties had to prove they were more than one-album wonders, and they hit it out of the park with this follow-up. The Boys' lyrics are a hysterical deluge of cultural allusion (Ponce De Leon, Japanese baseball legend Sadaharu Oh, and Love Connection's Chuck Woolery all get name-dropped), compressed wordplay, and adenoidal snottiness, but the real stars are the Dust Brothers, whose production is a hip-hop landmark. Their music tracks sound like the history of rock and funk radio boiled down to a pure concentrate--monster jams built out of thousands of unexpected samples (Johnny Cash! The Sweet!). It's a killer party album, kinetic and dense, and it never slows down. --Douglas Wolk
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Top Customer Reviews
I love the city street scene on the cover, the dirty sound that smacks of vinyl records and 8 track tapes. Each track is dense with references to pop culture and samples and snippets from everywhere, I don't know how much of the sound is Beastie Boys and how much the Dust Brothers, but it all comes together.
The snot nosed kid sound of Licensed to Ill is still here, looking for a piece of ass and a window to break. Hey Ladies is a fine example of the good natured fun, slightly malicious and politically incorrect. Likewise with Car Thief, but there is a kind of warped record sound that makes it all sound a bit ominous. In the lyrics, there are stirrings of deeper things to come such as A Year and a Day which are gonna lead into the Buddhist chanting and philosophizing in Check Your Head. Most of all it is funny as hell and has an excellent groove from start to finish.
If you buy one Beastie Boys CD this is the one.
When I finally got my hands on the tape (a black cassette with rainbowy Capitol 8-Track art) I popped it in my Walkman and listened. And listened. And listened. And listened. And the summer passed and I was still listening.
It's simply impossible to overrate "Paul's Boutique." It's just as difficult to crack the album open in a review, the music is so dense with beats and rhythms and ideas and lyrics that it would be like swimming in quicksand. Do you start with the Beatles samples? The great sound bites? The Dust Brothers production? The intense feeling that, at that time and place, the Beasties were just about the coolest guys in the world who could do just about anything?
Ahead of its time to a fault (it was seen as a sophmore slump, big time) this is a prescient, cultural landmark, not to mention a hell of a lot of great music crammed onto one disk. If you've heard it, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't heard it, you need to.
However, that critically acclaimed opening salvo was just the beginning. The Beasties' sophomore effort Paul's Boutique for the most part abandoned the gleefully big, stupid riffage of Licenced To Ill for a more eclectic, (slightly) more mature, and even more rewarding approach. The result was criminally ignored at the time by the general public who expected Licenced To Ill, Part 2. However, time heals all wounds, and Paul's Boutique has since been rightfully reassessed as the classic it is.
Thanks to hip-hop producers The Dust Brothers, Paul's Boutique saw the innovation of layered samples, forming funky collages of sounds and beats that have been emulated by most every mainstream rap artist since. This album could have a book written on it devoted to the unique production alone. Johnny Cash, Boogie Down Productions, The Beatles, The Eagles, Jimi Hendrix, Public Enemy, and Curtis Mayfield's "Superfly" are just a few samples I can spot, and I'm sure there's a bunch more that I can't.
Oh, and the lyrics. Let's not forget these.Read more ›
So I listened to PE's Millions far more than Paul's Boutique back in the day, and was so energized I wanted to start a revolution... or at least read a book. The Beasties (is that a faux pas, like "Frisco"?) made me want to party and synthesize lots of information. (I wrote a 15 page British Lit. paper while playing Boutique and consciously bit it's style, weaving lots of threads in an out of the paper. Thought I'd get a poor grade and didn't care - another Beastie inspiration. But got an A and raves. Thanks super-rap trio!).
As time goes on I play Boutique more than PE's Millions. I'm too old to start a revolution and get worked up. So I lay back or "shake it" (e-gads) and enjoy Boutique's humor, beats, and rich views...Gotta go, later "homies."
Most recent customer reviews
These guys are amazing at scratching and mixing. This is like a huge hip-hop megamix in one CD. Expecially the last track, because it literally is a megamix. Read morePublished on Dec 27 2004 by Nasud
the dust brothers? or the beasties?
either way, it's the greatest rap album of all time, hands down. so take that, snoop. Read more
You don't have to be a BB fan to enjoy this CD. It truly exemplifies musical talent, at a time in the industy when there was freedom of sampling. Read morePublished on July 8 2004 by Sergio
In my opinion this is the strongest b-boys album. Best lyrics. Very inventive and free. Best songs on the album:
- Sound of Science
- High Plains Drifter
When "Paul's Boutique" was originally released, many were expecting "Liscensed to Ill Part II". Read morePublished on June 27 2004
No matter what I say, no matter what words I choose to use to describe this body of work, it will not come within miles of capturing the essence that is Paul's Boutique. Read morePublished on June 26 2004
great album no doubt, but it always has been...there are all of these punks that think that it is just good b.c a few people said so in that last few years... Read morePublished on June 23 2004 by a cas
Those are the words i used to describe this album. i can't believe i waited this long to review this when i've had it for like almost 6 yrs. Read morePublished on June 18 2004 by Vincent Hedrick