Ghetto Musick?

OutKast partners Andre 3000 and Big Boi diverge wildly on their two-CD duel Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

Yes, The Love Below is an experience, but Andre's frequent flights of fancy can be alienating. It conflicts with the ideal of an album as a dependable piece of music or, at best, a compact work of art meant to hum along with. The Love Below is definitely art-pop, and will probably elicit rapturous acclaim from those wishing to nominate Andre for president, but it lacks self-consciousness. Still, who wants to temper his enthusiasm, no matter how trying it can be?

The 'fro ought to tell you something: Andre 3000 (right) drifts  musically from Big Boi.
The 'fro ought to tell you something: Andre 3000 (right) drifts musically from Big Boi.

There's something to be said for the steady, unspectacular beats on Big Boi's album, qualities The Love Below could draw from more. Concurrently, Speakerboxxx could use some of the passion that Andre ladles out on his effort. So did we need a double CD to confirm that Big Boi and Andre need each other? Not really. Speakerboxxx/The Love Below's true worth, then, lies in its details, which add up to a greater understanding of why OutKast is so captivating and brilliant.

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