25 Songs, 1 Hour 17 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Once upon a time Outkast and their Atlanta affiliates in the Dungeon Family made some of the most innovative and affecting hip-hop to be heard on either side of the Mason-Dixon line. But after spitting out four classic albums of mesmerizing poetry about growing up poor and brilliant in the sweaty ATL night, Big Boi and Andre drifted apart and released a pair of brilliant but troublingly eclectic solo masterpieces in the form of the SpeakerBoxxx/The Love Below albums. So where does Idlewild, Outkast’s fifth full-length and the nominal soundtrack to the film of the same name, find our heroes? After teasing fans with the glorious, nostalgia- inducing throwback of album opener “Mighty ‘O’,” Andre and Big Boi re-immerse themselves in the dazzling no holds barred eclecticism of Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, embracing Stax- style soul (“The Train”), 21st-century blues (“Idlewild Blue”), twisted vaudeville showstoppers (“Life Is Like a Musical”), and all points in between. Ultimately, Idlewild is a ragged-but-right tour de force, its occasional meanderings more than made up for by its feverishly inspired peaks.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Once upon a time Outkast and their Atlanta affiliates in the Dungeon Family made some of the most innovative and affecting hip-hop to be heard on either side of the Mason-Dixon line. But after spitting out four classic albums of mesmerizing poetry about growing up poor and brilliant in the sweaty ATL night, Big Boi and Andre drifted apart and released a pair of brilliant but troublingly eclectic solo masterpieces in the form of the SpeakerBoxxx/The Love Below albums. So where does Idlewild, Outkast’s fifth full-length and the nominal soundtrack to the film of the same name, find our heroes? After teasing fans with the glorious, nostalgia- inducing throwback of album opener “Mighty ‘O’,” Andre and Big Boi re-immerse themselves in the dazzling no holds barred eclecticism of Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, embracing Stax- style soul (“The Train”), 21st-century blues (“Idlewild Blue”), twisted vaudeville showstoppers (“Life Is Like a Musical”), and all points in between. Ultimately, Idlewild is a ragged-but-right tour de force, its occasional meanderings more than made up for by its feverishly inspired peaks.

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