Outkast, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003)
Man, this record was huge. I reviewed the album when it was released – and I played both discs over and over, I guess I was more taken with The Love Below (the Andre 3000 album) than Speakerboxxx (the Big Boi album) but I liked both discs. The yin. The yang. It was a bold move – a lot of double-albums can’t (fully) stand up due to the weight – when bands try gimmick-moves like separate solo albums it can grate but here Outkast knocked it out of the park. Monster hit Hey Ya mighta helped – I like to imagine a few people pissed off by buying a double-album just to hear that song and finding out little that instantly compared. But to and Outkast fan this was no sell-out move; this was no dick move either. Sure, Aquemini is the band’s greatest single album – and we’ll get to that here at the countdown, and soon, promise – but in many ways Speakerboxxx/The Love Below is the band (the duo) at the peak of their powers. I hadn’t listened to it in a long, long time – beyond hearing the singles here and there – so when I was cut a deal on the vinyl I went for it. Four LPs – two double-albums, eight sides! Man, I sat down with all eight sides the other day and it was a joy. A wee flood of some nostalgia I guess, the album/s just gone ten years old. The Andre 3000 disc still a strange but brilliant/bonkers genre-mash; the album most Prince fans had been waiting for I’d bet. But the Big Boi album more than stands up – perhaps unfairly dismissed for the fact that it’s a straight hip-hop sound, a bit of party-rap, some smooth modern soul styles. I dunno, I found more to like, more to engage with on that double-LP than on the Andre one, which I guess I knew a little better, despite suggesting I might have listened to them equally. I’m excited about Outkast this year. I love this group, these guys, their solo and band endeavours. I come and go with hip-hop but Outkast is one of the constants for me. Can’t even answer why. Gladly, I don’t need to.
Sample Track 1: Speakerboxxx: The Way You Move
Sample Track 2: The Love Below: Dracula’s Wedding
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown