Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique (20th Anniversary Edition) (CD)

It’s hard to overplay the importance of 1989’s Paul’s Boutique to the success of the Beastie Boys. The follow up to the band’s sophomoric, party album Licensed to Ill, the Dust Brother produced Paul’s Boutique took the band from novelty white rappers to a legitimate musical talent, pushing the boundaries of a still new genre at the time. There is still plenty of humor, just much less chauvinistic posturing with this outing.

If Licensed to Ill was about a group going through growing pains, by Paul’s Boutique, four years later, they found their sound and grew into a phenomenally talented group of musicians. It’s fitting then that Capitol chose to issue a 20th anniversary edition of the CD, with help from the group. The remastered tracks sound crisper and stronger. Songs like “Hey Ladies,” “Shake Your Rump,” “Johnny Ryall” and “Shadrach,” all classics, have never sounded better. The re-release is a good excuse for casual listeners to finally pick up a record that should be in everyone’s collection and the bonus downloadable audio commentary that comes with this new edition is a great excuse for hardcore fans to buy it again.

Top Tracks: “Hey Ladies,” “Shake Your Rump,” “Johnny Ryall” and “Shadrach,”

Rating: 8.9 out 10

Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique (20th Anniversary Edition) (CD) / 2009 / 23 Tracks / http://www.beastieboys.com

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