audio review : Midnight Marauders ( album ) … A Tribe Called Quest

audio review : Midnight Marauders ( album ) … A Tribe Called Quest

You’re supposed to play these songs at night, as per an interluded “program” the album would be better without, but Midday Marauders would be just as appropriate. That means, while some music sounds fundamentally nocturnal, the rugged beats presented here are comparatively timeless. They’re also the best parts of the set. The worst are the hooks.

The last two songs, which are virtual bonus tracks since the album officially “concludes” before them, serve as prime examples. The chorus on Lyrics To Go is just the title said repeatedly, which is artistically lame. God Lives Through; not to be confused with Oh My God, though that latter phrase can be heard throughout; is just as unimaginative at the breaks.

my rating = 3 of 5

1993

audio review : Solid Wall Of Sound ( song ) … A Tribe Called Quest ( featuring Busta Rhymes + Elton John )

This concert anthem doesn’t get good until near the end when what serves as the chorus, a bit of an old Elton John ballad sampled and looped, is dropped for something more original and much easier on the ears. The drums stay the same, but the enveloping music changes into a melodic wonderment of sorts.

“A million watts are shaking the room,” Q-Tip sings as you wonder why the whole song doesn’t sound like this, “In just a few hours, you’re going to feel the burn.” Is that really new Elton John singing with him? If so, that’s epic. I just wish they’d abandoned the Bennie And The Jets sample and used this part for the chorus.

my rating = 3 of 5

2016

audio review : We Got It From Here [ Thank You 4 Your Service ] ( album ) ... A Tribe Called Quest

audio review : We Got It From Here [ Thank You 4 Your Service ] ( album ) … A Tribe Called Quest

audio review : We Got It From Here [ Thank You 4 Your Service ] ( album ) ... A Tribe Called Quest

Fans of A Tribe Called Quest, a rap group from the 1990s, should be relatively happy. This new album, as far as beats and rhymes go, sounds a lot like their old ones. In fact, listening to Q-Tip’s voice, you’d think it was. It’s as if he hasn’t aged. Phife Dawg died earlier this year, which means a major part of the album, which is reportedly titled by him, was recorded before he died. It was also reportedly recorded not long before, as a new project, as opposed to stale leftovers from previous albums.

The best parts are the aforementioned beats, one of which I wish backed guest verses from De La Soul or the Jungle Brothers, Black Sheep even. Enough, Q-Tip’s charismatic rap of which is my favorite part of the album, could’ve been a sequel to La Menage. But that’s nostalgia talking. Busta Rhymes is featured. Andre 3000, Kanye West, Anderson Paak; they only manage to annoy. This final Quest album is ultimately decent, though it is off-putting how it comes so long after the others.

my rating = 3 of 5

2016