Paul's Boutique [20th Anniversary]

Paul's Boutique [20th Anniversary]

4.3 8
by Beastie Boys
     
 

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Such was the power of Licensed to Ill that everybody, from fans to critics, thought that not only could the Beastie Boys not top the record, but that they were destined to be a one-shot wonder. These feelings were only amplified by their messy, litigious departure from Def Jam and their flight from their beloved New York to Los Angeles, since it appeared that

Overview

Such was the power of Licensed to Ill that everybody, from fans to critics, thought that not only could the Beastie Boys not top the record, but that they were destined to be a one-shot wonder. These feelings were only amplified by their messy, litigious departure from Def Jam and their flight from their beloved New York to Los Angeles, since it appeared that the Beasties had completely lost the plot. Many critics in fact thought that Paul's Boutique was a muddled mess upon its summer release in 1989, but that's the nature of the record -- it's so dense, it's bewildering at first, revealing its considerable charms with each play. To put it mildly, it's a considerable change from the hard rock of Licensed to Ill, shifting to layers of samples and beats so intertwined they move beyond psychedelic; it's a painting with sound. Paul's Boutique is a record that only could have been made in a specific time and place. Like the Rolling Stones in 1972, the Beastie Boys were in exile and pining for their home, so they made a love letter to downtown New York -- which they could not have done without the Dust Brothers, a Los Angeles-based production duo who helped redefine what sampling could be with this record. Sadly, after Paul's Boutique sampling on the level of what's heard here would disappear; due to a series of lawsuits, most notably Gilbert O'Sullivan's suit against Biz Markie, the entire enterprise too cost-prohibitive and risky to perform on such a grand scale. Which is really a shame, because if ever a record could be used as incontrovertible proof that sampling is its own art form, it's Paul's Boutique. Snatches of familiar music are scattered throughout the record -- anything from Curtis Mayfield's "Superfly" and Sly Stone's "Loose Booty" to Loggins & Messina's "Your Mama Don't Dance" and the Ramones' "Suzy Is a Headbanger" -- but never once are they presented in lazy, predictable ways. The Dust Brothers and Beasties weave a crazy-quilt of samples, beats, loops, and tricks, which creates a hyper-surreal alternate reality -- a romanticized, funhouse reflection of New York where all pop music and culture exist on the same strata, feeding off each other, mocking each other, evolving into a wholly unique record, unlike anything that came before or after. It very well could be that its density is what alienated listeners and critics at the time; there is so much information in the music and words that it can seem impenetrable at first, but upon repeated spins it opens up slowly, assuredly, revealing more every listen. Musically, few hip-hop records have ever been so rich; it's not just the recontextulations of familiar music via samples, it's the flow of each song and the album as a whole, culminating in the widescreen suite that closes the record. Lyrically, the Beasties have never been better -- not just because their jokes are razor-sharp, but because they construct full-bodied narratives and evocative portraits of characters and places. Few pop records offer this much to savor, and if Paul's Boutique only made a modest impact upon its initial release, over time its influence could be heard through pop and rap, yet no matter how its influence was felt, it stands alone as a record of stunning vision, maturity, and accomplishment. Plus, it's a hell of a lot of fun, no matter how many times you've heard it. [A 20th Anniversary edition that featured remastering but no extra tracks was released in 2009.]

Product Details

Release Date:
02/10/2009
Label:
Capitol
UPC:
5099969330025
catalogNumber:
93300
Rank:
3270

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Paul's Boutique 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The BEST album, and the BEST in men's clothing.....Paul's Boutique. Ask for Janice.
DarkLotusICP4life More than 1 year ago
amazing from the very begining to the very end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
When The Beastie Boys hit platinum with their debut album, they were instantly labeled the Elvises of rap, accused of being just another bunch of white musicians stealing from black music. But what was overlooked was that the Beasties actually had some interesting ideas to take hip hop to new levels. While in the years to come other white rappers like Vanilla Ice and Jesse Jaymes would prove they were the true cultural thieves, the Beasties defended themselves by recording a seminal rap album, PAUL'S BOUTIQUE. The record was, in fact, so legit that it eroded their commercial appeal in middle America. PAUL'S BOUTIQUE is a sample-fest--a post-modern epic of cut and splice studio wizardry. Taking snippets of music from sources as disparate as Curtis Mayfield, The Beatles, B.D.P., The Ramones and The Jaws soundtrack (as well as countless others), they built songs out of the debris of modern culture. Over these mind-blowing tracks, they weaved tall tales, self-promotional proclamations and sheer non-sense into a singular vision of inspired lunacy. Besides Public Enemy, no one else was producing albums as complex as this. PAUL'S BOUTIQUE sounds two or three years ahead of its time, perhaps this is why the album was considered such a failure upon its release. Whatever the case, there really is no album that sounds quite like this one does; the Beasties returned to the top of the charts a few years later with CHECK YOUR HEAD, but they may never be able to top the originality and depth of their stunning sophomore effort.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'PAUL'S BOUTIQUE' IS A VERY UNIQUE ALBUM. IT WAS SUCH A VAST DEPARTURE OF THE STATUS QUO OF THE HIP HOP GENRE AT THE TIME. 'THE BEASTIE'S' INCORPARATE SO MANY DIFFERENT ENSEMBLES OF SAMPLES THAT THIS ALBUM TURNS OUT TO BE A CHAOTIC HEADTRIP. AS SOON AS YOU START TO GRASP IT, IT SENDS YOU IN A NEW DIRECTION. WITH ENJOYABLE EASE. THE MIXING IS FIRST RATE, THE LYRICS ARE CLEVERLY WRITTEN TO BE FUNKY, HIP, AND HAPPENING. IT'S A TOUGH LISTEN AT FIRST, BUT BY THE SECOND LISTEN, YOU WILL CONSIDER THIS MASTERPIECE TO BE A HISTORIC MUSICAL TIMEPIECE.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This record is a masterpiece. Fourteen years after its release and I'm *still* deciphering the lyrics.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anyone who loves good music, good records, a good and best album that I think all the rockers or everybody will like. Good Album that sounds a good rap album than todays rap, and the only thing that I didnt knew about this album was that they got suid because they sample alot of stuff that they didnt got permission but is still a good record that will be in the top 100 or top 10 in the rap Albums or The Hall of Fame.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was needing a replacement for an album I lost.
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