Sunday, 12 April 2015

Outkast "Stankonia" (2000)

Stankonia, the groups forth release named after the record studio they purchased to record this album in. Given the critically acclaimed success of their previous effort "Aquemini" the duo take of from where they left, moving forward with another fine record that shows no shortage of inspiration as the two forge classic tracks with an ear for expanding their musical ideas, just like they did on Aquemini. The biggest distinction between the two records is Stankonia's pace which features faster tempos with especially chaotic snare and base rhythms best showcased on "Snappin' & Trappin", that features "Killer Mike" & "B.O.B". Other distinctions include a noticeable increase in featured rappers who appear on many tracks. The track listing also has all the skits separated from the songs, something they didn't do on previous records.

The record starts of with a bang, "Gasoline Dreams" opens up with an obnoxious "Ah right" on repeat before dropping in with a phenomenal hook, "Don't everybody like the smell of gasoline, well burn mother fucker burn American dreams", the energy and tempo is high and the raps come in airy sung delivery over rocking guitars and lyrics which say so much about our society in so little words. Starting of with aggression, things quickly switch to smooth styles with "So Fresh, So Clean" and the album journeys on into a stylistic future funk oddball of styles and themes that come with terrific hooks track after track.

The production is split between Earthtone III and Organized Noise, the latter of which handled the earlier records and their style can be heard on their three numbers, but the album flows and again incorporates new sounds and ideas including gospel vocals, frenetic drum patterns and an evolving clean vocal approach from Andre 3000, best heard on the hit single "Ms. Jackson" a poppy, simplistic tune that revolves around a memorable hook and moody tone delivered through the organs, pianos and funky baseline. Like Aquemini, Staktonia's strengths come from the unorthodox and experimental, but here the character and style is stronger and unique, a step further out from the traditional Hip Hop sound without loosing anything. Stunning record with no shortage of substance that doesn't tire.

Favorite Songs: Gasoline Dreams, So Fresh So Clean, Ms Jackson, I'll Call Before I Come, B.O.B, We Luv Deez Hoez, Humble Mumble, Toilet Tisha
Rating: 8/10