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To The 5 Boroughs Enhanced, Explicit Lyrics

3.7 out of 5 stars 494 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The hiatus is back off, again, for the Beastie Boys, and music lovers will bob their heads with insuppressible glee. With its Nice & Smooth impersonations and shout outs to Brooklyn's Albee Square Mall, To the 5 Boroughs, their first album in six years, harkens the return of the trio to the city that made them who they are today. It's an up-tempo yet surprisingly homogenous assemblage of vintage electro-style party beats, and it's a strictly Beastie affair: the Boys co-wrote and produced each track themselves, which means that it sports none of the sonic fripperies and quirky collaborations that distinguished previous classics such as Paul's Boutique. Finally jelling after two years of on-again, off-again recording, To the 5 Boroughs will appeal to those fans old enough to remember the Licensed to Ill tour. Those old-schoolers are sure to appreciate the album's mostly off-the-cuff lyrics and minimal-to-the-extreme musical landscape--even if its stripped-down sound may leave others longing for the days when the Boys were California dreamin'. --Rebecca Levine

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The hiatus is back off, again, for the Beastie Boys, and music lovers will bob their heads with insuppressible glee. With its Nice & Smooth impersonations and shout outs to Brooklyn's Albee Square Mall, To the 5 Boroughs, their first album in six years, harkens the return of the trio to the city that made them who they are today. It's an up-tempo yet surprisingly homogenous assemblage of vintage electro-style party beats, and it's a strictly Beastie affair: the Boys co-wrote and produced each track themselves, which means that it sports none of the sonic fripperies and quirky collaborations that distinguished previous classics such as Paul's Boutique. Finally jelling after two years of on-again, off-again recording, To the 5 Boroughs will appeal to those fans old enough to remember the Licensed to Ill tour. Those old-schoolers are sure to appreciate the album's mostly off-the-cuff lyrics and minimal-to-the-extreme musical landscape--even if its stripped-down sound may leave others longing for the days when the Boys were California dreamin'. --Rebecca Levine
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 15, 2004)
  • Explicit Lyric ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced, Explicit Lyrics
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00021LRWM
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (494 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,998 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gabriel Perdue on July 25, 2004
Format: Audio CD
To the 5 Boroughs is an extremely impressive album. On the one hand, it is pure, vintage Beastie Boys. You need only listen to about ten seconds of the album to know that these are the Beastie Boys you know and love. And yet, on the other hand, these are a noticably older, more mature Beastie Boys. The tracks are richer and more complex. Their flows now come gravel voiced and with the authoritztive tones of the elder shamans of rap. But the Beastie Boys have aged like great Scotch. They are still full of energy and carry the same eccentric wit, only know they have become deeper and smoother. These guys are real artists and there is just no denying it.

If you've liked any of their previous albums, I can't imagine not liking this one. I bought it having not heard a single song and haven't regretted it for a second.
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Format: Audio CD
The first time I listened to this album, I'll admit that I didn't really like it but after many spins it finally clicked. Like in all of their albums, Beastie Boys are always one step ahead and it takes a bit of time to adjust because people expect it to sound a certain way, like in Paul's Boutique for example, and even now people are still adjusting to Hello Nasty. But once you do, you'll see it for the masterpiece it really is (or hear for a better use of a word.)
Beastie Boys have gone back to their roots with To The 5 Boroughs, back when hip-hop was all about fun and "Once upon a time on this mic/ M.Cs be really working on what they write" (Right Right Now Now) but at the same time taken it one step forward and raised the bench mark in hip-hop once again. And while it's filled with old-school beats and rhymes, it also has an almost futuristic sound to it, like the computerized voice in "Oh Word?" for one.
The album as a whole is fun and up-beat with witty, humorous 'doo-doo rhymes' that Beastie Boys are famous for such as "I'm a freaky streaker like Winnie the Pooh/ With T-shirt and no pants and I dance the Bugaloo" and "Yo what the falafel? You gotta get up awful early, to fool Mr. Furley/ And that's, word to Aunt Shirley, and you could stick your head in the toilet give yourself a swirlie", using a similiar rhyming style to Run DMC, but it is also filled with so much meaning as well. I mean, just listen to "An Open Letter to NYC" and you can really tell how much pride and love they have for their city.
If you look back to some of their older songs such as 'Alive' you'll see that Beastie Boys already had political views so this is not new.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
I gotta say I was hesitant to buy "To the 5 Boroughs" when I heard the B-Boys were going to do a CD heralding a return to their roots. Would the Beasties still have enough mad skills to stack up in the newest evolution of hip-hop? Would a return to immaturity mean they have abandoned the evolutionary path of growth their fans have grown to love?

I'm glad to say "To the 5 Boroughs" is another 1st-rate high-quality Beastie Boys disc. This could have been the second album that they never released. The missing link between that unimaginable growth spurt they took from "Licensed to Ill" to the under-appreciated genius that is "Paul's Boutique". "To the 5 Boroughs" has an old skool vibe but it's the bigger (& better) brother of the orginal New York rhyme styles that put them on the map. Only this time the music is theirs, the lyrics have hidden maturity and the collage of music has depth.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
i don't know what took me so long to acquire this particular cd - (actually i do - but the sad sap story is too long and revolves around the fact that i've missed seeing them live my entire life due to ridiculous circumstances EACH AND EVERY TIME...but i digress...) - AWESOME cd!! so glad i have it in my beastie boys collection - if you're a fan and don't have this one - GET IT!!!
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Okay, the CD is good. I've always been more of a fan of the hip-hop Beasties than the punk Beasties. It's a pleasure to hear the silly rhymes again...especially the 'dissing (and slamming beat) on "Well F___ You". The bad is mainly that this CD musically lacks the creativity of most of their former CD's. Do we really need to hear ANOTHER song that samples "Rapper's Delight"? They could've dug a lot deeper on some of these songs, especially with six years to work with.
For everyone that doesn't like the fact that they mention politics...get over it. Music has always been a venue for freedom of speech and God willing it always will be. It's one of the things that makes our country great and the Beastie Boys know that. If you were somehow unaware they were political then you've had your head in the sand (or somewhere else) for quite a while now. If I have to start seeing "Caution, political ideas expressed that may not agree with yours" warning stickers I'm going to be really upset...
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By A Customer on June 26, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Another amazing turn-out from my favorites, the Beastie Boys. The worst thing about this group is they take so damn long to record albums. However, they are never disappointing, as each one is different from the last, whilst still retaining the essential Beastie flavor. TT5B feels incredibly stripped down compared to their last effort, Hello Nasty, not mention compared to the sample-rama, baroquesque Paul's Boutique. (For everyone who complains that TT5B is no Paul's Boutique...of COURSE it isn't! Holy crap, do you think that can be duplicated?!) Noticably absent are the instruments that the trip picked up in past albums (particularly Check Your Head and Ill Communication) and the beats feel less Euro-trashy and techno-DJ. (Like Hello Nasty. I say Euro-trashy in a good way too.) The ryhmes are still snappy and clever and silly ("I'm a freaky streaker like Winnie the Pooh. T-shirt and no pants and I dance the bugaloo.") but a new element of, dare I say, maturity and seriousness is introduced. Maturity that was touched on in songs like "Song for the Man" and "I Don't Know" in Hello Nasty is expanded and manifests itself in social commentary and political views. A definite stand out is "An Open Letter to NYC" which praises and pays tribute to the city they love. "Brass Monkey" this ain't. Another noticable change is MCA's voice. While always much lower and rougher (he was the only one who sounded like he might be able to kick your ass) than the other two, it's has become far more raspier and harsh. It's interesting, throughout their careers, and through their CDs, we have seen and heard this maturing, as all good artists should do, but who would have thought that it would result in such good music at the same time?
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