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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    CD Reviews

    Go Wild for Idlewild

    Andre 3000 and Big Boi are back after their “”Hey Ya”” days with Idlewild, an ambitious soundtrack to their musical movie of the same name.

    Idlewild is not a double-disc album like Speakerboxx/The Love Below, Outkast’s last album, but it still has Big Boi and Andre 3000 competing for track space. Both artists decided to work on their songs solo, but the songs have the same composition of synthesizers, electric guitars and piano solos.

    The album as a whole is impressive because Outkast went out of the “”boxx”” to create a new sound that would fit in the 1930s-themed movie they made. The hip-hop mixes well with the jazz sounds of songs like “”Idlewild Blues.””

    “”Call the Law,”” featuring Janelle Monae, is an impressive track produced by Big Boi that has Monae singing her sweet heart out: “”I said I’m done, enough of your love.””

    The second half of the album features “”Makes No Sense At All,”” a song that sounds like “”Hey Ya,”” but falls short of a hit. Andre 3000’s falsetto becomes unbearable after the first minute.

    Rating
    7/10

    “”Greatest Show On Earth”” commits the fatal mistake of featuring Macy Gray. Not only does her performance make this track the greatest show on earth, it makes it the worst track on the record.

    Even though some of the track choices make no sense at all, Idlewild is a perfect example of how experimenting with so many different melodies and instruments in a creative way can lead to a compelling record.

    -Ernesto Romero


    Maybe Mouse shouldn’t roar quite as much

    Listening to Excommunicator, it’s easy to develop the attitude of a third-grade art teacher. You want to tell Billy that his finger painting is different and special, even if it’s just smears of primary colors with no discernable shape.

    It’s the effort that counts, right? The first record from The Mouse that Roared is full of good intentions, but they just don’t quite achieve what they set out to do.

    The 11 tracks on Excommunicator deliver sounds ranging from space folk rock to slide guitar ambience, with a couple instrumental tracks thrown in for the hell of it.

    They’re solid enough musicians to resemble the Texas post-prog band Explosions in the Sky at some points and a low-budget Grandaddy at others.

    Tracks like “”When the Moment is Right”” and opener “”Evil Kenievel”” spark the hope that the album is going to get over that hump of being just OK. The meandering guitar on the former encapsulates the high points of the album: catchy enough to get a hand or foot moving, but that’s it.

    The vocals are decent, but ultimately they don’t really bring anything to the table, especially when you consider the lyrics.

    Rating
    6/10

    Dividing the album in two are a couple of instrumental tracks that stick out like sore thumbs, mainly because of the addition of distorted guitars to the mix, but they grab your attention more than any others.

    The result is an album that you’d rather just hear over the record store PA while picking up your Death Cab than actually consider buying.

    -Dereck Jordan

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