The Beastie Boys dropped their 7th full-length instrumental studio release The Mix-Up [Capitol] on June 26th, 2007 to little promotion or fan-fare beyond a display at Starbucks--scary to think they've become that mainstream. Itís a follow up to 2004ís To the 5 Boroughs which was a more classic hip-hop sample record with less instrumentation. This time, they switch it totally without vocals and writing funked out stoner jams. Itís much closer to Check Your Head, Ill Communication, and Hello Nasty with stretched out grooves and keyboard-heavy tunes. They added Mark Nishita, aka, ďMoney MarkĒ on keys again and it works. Much like their 1996 release, The In Sound From Way Out, this record will be a favorite for true fans that like to drop tracks the mainstream didnít get.
Itís a common mistake to think of these guys as just rappers, forgetting or perhaps ignoring the risks they take musically. The Beastie Boys are a great band and more than just a bunch of rapping white dudes biting RUN-DMC. They always evolve and basically donít let market or cultural pressures dictate any direction or sound. You have to respect them for that. They are themselves and itís evident when you let this one play: Itís mad fun. Instrumentals have a distinction to be the backdrop for any action we play it with. You can party; have sex, study, and do whatever --and this soundtrack will make it even better. The music is great and the vibe is nice. Not too hard, not too soft. I play this at the bar where I work and everybody bobs their head, smiles, drink, and gives me money.
With this release, and many of late, hope for music and humanity are coming back. I have proudly bought all the CDs I have reviewed so far. It is very important to support artist these days. These guys may be rich and I donít mind the major labels dying, but many artists still struggle and deserve to be paid for their work. Please go out and online, and pay for the music you love. Thatís how these guys made it to this album, one fan at a time.