Idlewild

Studio Album by released in 2006
Idlewild's tracklist:
Intro
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Mighty "O"
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Peaches (feat. Sleepy Brown & Scar)
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Idlewild Blue (Don't Chu Worry 'Bout Me)
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Infatuation (interlude)
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N2U (feat. Khujo Goodie)
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Morris Brown (feat. Scar & Sleepy Brown)
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Chronomentrophobia
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The Train (feat. Scar & Sleepy Brown)
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Life Is Like a Musical
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No Bootleg DVDs (interlude)
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Hollywood Divorce (feat. Lil' Wayne & Snoop Dogg)
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Zora (interlude)
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Call the Law (feat. Janelle Monae)
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Bamboo & Cross (interlude)
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Buggface
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Makes No Sense at All
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In Your Dreams (feat. Killer Mike & Janelle Monae)
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PJ & Rooster
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Mutron Angel (feat. Whild Peach)
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Greatest Show on Earth (feat. Macy Gray)
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You're Beautiful (interlude)
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When I Look in Your Eyes
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Dyin' to Live
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A Bad Note
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Idlewild review

Once again OutKast has done something unpredictable

The creators of one of only three hip-hop albums to be certified diamond in the US, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, OutKast is known as the most eccentric due making unique rap, electronica and funk music with experimental approach. This August the band’s seventh work Idlewild has been released; it is also the soundtrack for an eponymous film in which OutKast’s members Andre` 3000 and Big Boi are performing the leading roles. During their younger years Andre` Benjamin and Antwan Patton were musical rivals. The duo’s previous album, consisting of each of the two musicians’ solo parts, has shown that the two are striving for revealing each one’s specific style and have almost returned to the past unwillingly making critics compare their talents. On the new creation this separation takes place once again but not so directly: some songs are performed by both guys, and some are exclusively produced by either of them. Idlewild is a longish record consisting of 25 tracks among which there are several light interludes. Once again OutKasts has done something unpredictable and developed their singing (Andre` 3000) and rapping (Big Boi) skills. Concerning its lyrics and styles, the album is full of pleasant surprises.

The record Idlewild presents a blend of jazz, blues and stylish rap

The events of the movie Idlewild take place in the South of 1930s hence the task for Big Boi and Andre` 3000 has been to turn to various styles popular at that time and expand the borders of gangsta rap as to make it closer to retro and to the music of the American Great Depression era. Thus the record Idlewild presents an unusual blend of jazz, blues and stylish rap that sounds both super up-to-date and old-fashioned. The cool psychedelic soul of the opener Mighty O and the emotional rapping from Lil’ Wayne and Snoop Dogg on Hollywood Divorce mark OutKast’s music change for more down-tempo compositions, and tracks like Peaches with Scar and Sleepy Brown and Call The Law, refined by Janelle Monae’s jazzy vocals, are filled with a tense presentiment of breaking the law. When I Look Into Your Eyes is Andre` 3000’s best vocal number containing one of the most melodious piano lines on the album, while Big Boi’s unrivaled rapping makes Morris Brown featuring Scar and Sleepy Brown a sure new hip-hop hit from OutKast. Elements of jazz appear again on a cute song PJ And Rooster; here the duo pleases the fans with their similar to conversation performance, whereas N2U from Big Boi and Khujo Goodie is a clear R&B track. Among the 25 tracks there is hardly a dull one, and Idlewild closes on an ironically named song A Bad Note.

Two powerful directions that emphasize and complete each other

During its history OutKast has never repeated itself, and each time it is impossible to guess what else these two are going to make. Today they have created an album that is again difficult to classify, as well as the impression it produces. Andre` 3000 and Big Boi have rather different characters, styles and images, some might even call them opposite, and these differences are well felt on Idlewild. All in all however the album is not conceived as a controversial or uneven flow of disharmonious songs, but as a creation with two powerful directions that emphasize and complete each other and at certain moments blend into a solid unity. Being to some extent a jazz album, it is prolonged and not devoid of improvisations, having the tints of blues it is relaxing on definite songs and interludes, and as a rap album, Idlewild offers a series of brand new catchy hip-hop compositions. Considering the previous double album and that the division does not disappear, some believe that it is not long till OutKast disbands. Perhaps they are right, but if we think carefully, since Big Boi and Andre` 3000 have enough wit to create such mega successive albums, surely they do realize that only united they stand.