Outkast scores with double disc

Stephanie Toone

What’s cooler than cool? Outkast.

The hip-hop duo’s sixth album, “Speakerboxx/The Love Below,” is ‘ice cold.’ It was released Sept. 23 and is No. 1 on the Billboard charts this week.

The double album is achieving critical and commercial success.

Andre 3000 and Big Boi have split their two dynamic musical styles onto two discs. Andre 3000 gives a funky R&B vibe on “The Love Below,” while Big Boi brings in his entertaining non-stop flow on “Speakerboxx.” These veterans of hip hop have not missed a beat on this versatile, eclectic album.

Andre 3000 is always full of surprises in his musical and fashion styles. On “The Love Below,” he surprises listeners with his inner balladeer. Though rapping is his strong point, songs like “Love Hater” and “Pink and Blue” display Andre 3000’s smooth, falsetto voice.

The soulful R&B album is influenced by two men known for love ballads. Isaac Hayes co-wrote “She Lives in My Lap” and R. Kelly co-produced “Pink and Blue.” Andre 3000 also does a jazzy duet with Norah Jones on “Take Off Your Cool.”

Just when Andre 3000’s soul train slows down, Big Boi picks up the tempo and raises the volume on “Speakerboxx.” He proves once again to be an exceptional lyricist who can make listeners move.

“Ghettomusik” and “The Way You Move” are great dance tracks. On the tracks “War” and “Church,” Big Boi uses unique lyricism to discuss politics and religion.

Big Boi keeps the bumping bass the base for most of his tracks. “Speakerboxx” echoes the sounds of great Outkast albums such as “Stankonia” and “Big Boi and Dre Present Outkast.”

Big Boi and Andre 3000 will always have the formula for success. The double CD is sure to please new and old listeners.

“Speakerboxx/The Love Below” offers two very different sounds that complement each other to make beautiful music.

Big Boi and Andre 3000 prove that “Outkast is everlastin’.”

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