Outkast, Idlewild

Michaelangelo Matos

By Michaelangelo Matos

on 04.09.11 in Reviews



It’s unfair to consider Idlewild OutKast’s version of Bob Dylan’s Self Portrait — an arrant lazy way out from a legend of which they’d grown weary. If anything, Idlewild is as insanely ambitious as all of OutKast’s albums from Aquemini forward, attempting to cram nearly as many ideas and styles into 78 minutes as Andre 3000 and Big Boi had, separately, onto the two-and-a-half-hour Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, and adding some new ones, such as Andre’s blues turn, “Idlewild Blue (Don’t Chu Worry ‘Bout Me).” It’s not bad, and little else on the album is, either, though the nearly-nine-minute “A Bad Note,” a seeming tribute to Funkadelic’s acid-tinged sprawls (such as “Wars of Armageddon”), comes awfully close. Nevertheless, the album — a soundtrack to the duo’s long-in-the-works film, which fizzled at the box office — has its charms, usually when Andre and Big Boi are truly working in tandem. The easy highlight is “Hollywood Divorce,” produced by Andre and featuring Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg, featuring Big Boi spitting vitriol at Internet rumormongers: “M&M’s with no nuts/Won’t show up face-to-face, straight bitch-made/Like puppies on the nipples of a mutt,” says the famed dog breeder. But the album is most memorable as the showcase it gave Janelle Monaé before she took off on her own.