To the 5 Boroughs

To the 5 Boroughs

by Beastie BoysBeastie Boys

CD(Enhanced / Digi-Pak)



The Beastie Boys have never shied away from acting as goodwill ambassadors for their home city, but they've really outdone themselves on To the 5 Boroughs, an unreconstructed love letter to the Big Apple. That devotion is most clear on the post-9/11 ode "An Open Letter to NYC," which sets a laundry list of the city's attributes -- with a typical onslaught of inside references to delight fellow Gotham dwellers -- against a backdrop that's at once airy and fierce, thanks to clever deployment of a sample from the Dead Boys' "Sonic Reducer." The entire disc, however, is chock-a-block with asides and digressions that make up a travelogue as dizzyingly detailed as, say, the cover of Paul's Boutique. Even so, the self-produced To the 5 Boroughs is something of a back-to-basics offering, in many ways. The Boys kick it extremely old school on "Triple Trouble," which borrows a snatch of the "Rapper's Delight" beat for a street-corner rhyme session that could've appeared on Check Your Head, but they get decidedly futuristic on tracks like "3 the Hard Way," which suspends some clever pre-gangsta braggadocio in bass-heavy surroundings that envelop the listener with a decidedly underwater feel. "Oh Word?" has a similarly spacey ambience, with bleeping synths and ping-ponging drumbeats (not to mention distorted vocals and some of the goofier expletive replacements in recent memory -- "what the falafel," anyone?). Many of the disc's cuts nicely reconcile the smash-mouth beats of the Beasties' formative years with the consciousness-raising rhymes of recent years. "Right Right Now Now," for instance, laces a wickedly infectious turntable/clavinet backing with lines such as "I'm getting kinda tired of the situation / The U.S. attacking other nations," while "It Takes Time to Build," a dub-wise beckoner, makes quick work of ugly environmental policies. All three Beasties are in fine form throughout, making 5 Boroughs the group's most consistent -- and consistently enjoyable -- disc in ages.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/15/2004
Label: Capitol
UPC: 0724358457100
catalogNumber: 84571


  1. Ch-Check It Out
  2. Right Right Now Now
  3. 3 the Hard Way
  4. Time to Build
  5. Rhyme the Rhyme Well
  6. Triple Trouble
  7. Hey F**k You
  8. Oh Word?
  9. That's It That's All
  10. All Life Styles
  11. Shazam!
  12. An Open Letter to NYC
  13. Crawlspace
  14. The Brouhaha
  15. We Got The

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