Beastie Boys - To The 5 Boroughs (Cover Artwork)

Beastie Boys

Beastie Boys: To The 5 BoroughsTo The 5 Boroughs (2004)
EMI Group

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: FuzzyFuzzy
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The first thing you have to realize when listening to a Beastie Boys record for the first time is that everything that you hear on it is crafted with love and affection. While some may bash the Boys for extreme lengths between releases, the product given to us is always a work of art, molded by thre.
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The first thing you have to realize when listening to a Beastie Boys record for the first time is that everything that you hear on it is crafted with love and affection. While some may bash the Boys for extreme lengths between releases, the product given to us is always a work of art, molded by three men who share a love for music and the power that lies within it. And their newest effort is no different. As an avid fan since I first heard their tunes all those years ago (10, maybe more?), I tore in the packaging as soon as I could, and popped the CD in my car stereo for the ride home.

The most striking difference on this album, immediately that is, are the beats. Plenty of hi-rhythm hi-hat beats, tight snares, and funky bass licks. This isn't the funk/punk inspired backdrop of the last few albums. This is taking the futuristic and modern lyrical styles from Hello Nasty and transforming that into a chilled, relaxed, and beautiful backdrop over which the 3 MC's can weave their poetry. The lyrics and the style of delivery are pure Beasties. Their love of the great city of New York is shown in greater detail than ever before, their political prowess and intelligence is highlighted in their calls for change, and their humor manages to stay intact through all of that. Moreso than previous albums, the lyrics and the beats change places and intertwine with each other, with words providing the rhythm for melodic sounds, and beats providing the canvass against which they redraw their broken New York skyline.

The most important way to enjoy this record is to buy it now. Don't wait a year. Or six months. Or six weeks. I waited a couple days and am already paying for it. While the music is timeless, and let's never forget that, the Boys craft songs that exemplify the moments in time that they were written about. Throughout their history, this has been a common thread. This is hip hop for the year 2004. This is New York, three years after 9/11. This is the world in a time of crisis. And this is the Beastie Boys aging gracefully amongst a sea of sucka mc's trying to bite their style.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (September 3, 2004)

Mc Donalds? Egg Wall? Jazz? I have had rein over the wind since I was 13 thats 12 years ago. I have rein over animals. I say six to the tree and lightening strikes. Ya'll are going down. My name is Katie Windsor one of they most beautiful most talented songwriters on this universe. Keep me in check? Your electromagnetic waves? Your King tut card? Your nemaste card? your interlocking ship? Who on hells creation do you motherfucking think you are? Holy shit it boggles my mind!!!!!! You'll be hearing from me!

Anonymous (August 13, 2004)


Anonymous (July 18, 2004)

I skimmed the comments below before I picked this up and basically just bought it on a whim. And I'm glad I did. Yes, the humor and the "party" atmosphere have been tuned down, but times change and the more serious approach is still great listening and frankly, appropriate, from a NY band post-9/11. Not only that, but every track is a legitimate song, with zero "wacky sound craziness" and with zero filler.

Hands down the best Beastie Boys album ever.

ohcanaduh (June 30, 2004)

Hate to say it, but the Beasties are washed-up and have been for over a decade. I can't say they haven't put out a few great tracks over the last 10 years or so, but as far as a solid album from start to finish, we haven't seen that from they Beastie Boys since "Check Your Head," which was released over 13 years ago. I'm sure I'll take some flack from the Beastie fans, but hey you gotta call it like ya see it

Anonymous (June 30, 2004)

This is the Beastie Boys 3 years after 9/11, i agree, but if you look on the cover you can see the twin towers. Does anybody know why they took an old photo? Just asking...!?

Anonymous (June 29, 2004)

Im sorry, but the Beastie Boys would have been much better off by not releasing this album and simply ended their career with Hello Nasty, which definetly was not a standout either.. Decent beats can be found in this album but listening to the Boys trying to keep up with modern day lyricists is almost embarassing. These 3 mc's shouldnt be worried about other wack fools trying to steal the game from them because frankly, theyre not in the game. I would score this album a 3 for effort.

Not-To-Regret (June 29, 2004)

I've been listening to 90% punk the last few years... favorite bands now are Strung Out, Rancid, NOFX, Operation Ivy, Minor Threat, Bad Religion among many others.... and I JUST got into the Beastie Boys and I am totally stoked to hear amazing original music with a couple punk songs thrown in... I just bought Ill Communication and Check Yo Head and I think both are fucking amazing! can't wait to hear this shit

Anonymous (June 29, 2004)


Anonymous (June 29, 2004)

That's a good question below, why not review ICP? Pre-Jeckyl Brothers ICP is where it's at, plus Twiztid, Blaze, ABK, and the Rydaz will drill your ass. I can stretch yer neck out and play it like a banjo *beng beh-neng beng beng* ya like that shit, yo?

chrisafi (June 29, 2004)

Well, as an Internet punk I can see a lot of reasons to not like the Beastie Boys. Personally, I think every record has lost some punk flavour and its been replaced with funk, hip hop, rap e.t.c.

I thought there first record was pretty decent but it's been all downhill from there. HOwever, they have been pretty revolutionary in the industry and I respect them for that. And they are still doing it and trying new things. Although they are making me more dissapointed with their release, I don't think it's hip-hop crap and I respect them for making changes and mixing it up

Anonymous (June 28, 2004)

I love because this is a hip hop record the internet punks attack it call it gay. You know i started listen to punk music first snfu to be exact and from there my music tastes have spread because if you don't listen you don't know what you might miss cause now with my favorite punk cd's and my beloved snfu i mixin like the beastie boys (which may i remind you used to be a punk band and are more punk then a lot of bands out today) and kayne west along with modost mouse , tom waits, ben lee if your not open you'll miss some of the best things on earth

Anonymous (June 28, 2004)

This album is sucktastic.

Anonymous (June 28, 2004)

The amount of know-it-all fags that come to this site is crazy

4131 (June 28, 2004)

Kottonmouth Kings? Are you fucking serious? Hey, why no ICP reviews guys huh? How bout Limp Bizkit? Why not just save the effort of listening to that shit and stick a butterfly knife through your ear canal, I bet it is much more painless.

Anonymous (June 27, 2004)

"This records is equal to a piece of shit floating in piss water."

And yet, a four star review from yourself? Wow - you really like that kinky scat stuff huh?

Anonymous (June 27, 2004)

Can anyone give a reason why they pay attention to these guys and ignore Kotttonmouth KIngs? And don't tell me it's cuz they suck, cuz that's the point a review, to REVIEW the record and tellyou if they suck. They actually play PUNK songs about half the time these days. Their guitarist was in the Descendents, for christ sake. Whatever. Someone with a name like "Autumn Trauma" or "Tuesday's Reckoning" tell it's cuz they aren't punk enough now and entertain me.

Anonymous (June 27, 2004)

This records is equal to a piece of shit floating in piss water.

MarkieStabone (June 26, 2004)

i've got 2 words for this album: OLD SCHOOL. after hello nasty, i figured that any follow-up would be so heavily laden with computer effects that it would overshadow everything else. sure, 5 boroughs doesn't have any instant stand-out songs, but what it does have is heaping dose of good old fashioned rap with no filler. no instrumental time wasting, just rhymes and beats. and killer samples. instant classic.


Anonymous (June 26, 2004)

As i said before, brilliant disc, better than more than half the shite that scott gives even 4 stars,open your ears scott. Sorry this is not on polyvinyl records or its no good-oldpunker-

SOYBOMB (June 26, 2004)

Mr. Luke is absolutely correct.


XTeArSxOfxDeAtHX (June 26, 2004)

I really like the beastie boys but i think this cd could have been better
when i heard about the new cd coming out, i was so hyped about it but as i started listening to it, i realized i didnt get as much out of it as the other cds.... I enjoyed about 4 or 5 of the songs but still find the new cd to be a dissapointment

Anonymous (June 25, 2004)

This whole CD reminds me of the end track of Paul's Boutique, the montage-song which had about 8 different parts. The beats are fairly simple and the rhymes are nothing to write home about, but this CD is growing on me and like someone else said I think we will look back on it as a pretty damn solid album.

MrLuke (June 25, 2004)

Che Che Che Che Che Check it out. Wha Wha Wha Wha What it's all about.

Shu Shu Shu Shu Shu SHUT THE FUCK UP

gladimnotemo (June 25, 2004)

The record is certaintly growing on me. I only have "Licensed to Ill", and I had that playing for 4 weeks before this came out, so TT5B was definately a departure. However, after a while, it's gotten much better.

You must admit though, mediocre Beastie Boys is better than 95% of all other rap out right now.

kirbypuckett (June 25, 2004)

The thing w/ the Beastie Boys is sometimes their records aren't immediate hits [Pauls Boutique anyone?].

When Hello Nasty hit the shelves the critics were saying the same things then as they are now. Pop that back in now and you along w/ many of the other Beastie Boys fans will realize just how wonderful of a record it is.

Give this a few years...

- Kirby

Anonymous (June 25, 2004)

Its a solid album and waaaaay better than most shit out there, but i'll agree it lacks the variety of hello nasty, the sick tightness of check your head and the ground breakingness of pauls boutique. i do like how it blends the old and new school vibes.

notfeelingcreative (June 25, 2004)

I still dig it! Even though i've been listening to the new dilated peoples more than this as of recent.

ThreeChordsAndTheTruth (June 25, 2004)

"and popped the CD in my car stereo for the ride home."

.."and then realised it wouldn't play in my stereo thanks to cool copy protection".

..just sayin'.

sickboi (June 25, 2004)

I agree with Scott on MCA. Did anyone see the live show on MTV 2? He looked like an old robot in his delivery.

aubin (June 25, 2004)

I think I prefer this review, though I am confused about how it got worse over the span of a week.

I was a little disappointed in this record, when held up against their old stuff, especially against Check Your Head. But as a standalone record, it's a nice, relaxing diversion, which is both unfortunate and fortunate I guess.

CactusSac (June 25, 2004)

I agree w/ scott...

album just isn't up to par with any other beastie material... in fact it was a fucking shame the first time i listened to it.

I remember atleast going through a phase where i thought hello nasty was a pretty good cd overall... with this cd i dont think thats gonna happen. back to pauls boutique & check your head for me.

inagreendase (June 25, 2004)

This is the first time two reviews from the same person of the same album have been posted, isn't it?

kenjamin (June 25, 2004)

A really really good Review. Couldn't agree more. I listened to the cd straight through and was really surprised when it ended. Just a chill experience and I seemed to get lost in it.

Anonymous (June 25, 2004)

i think this review was both shorter and much more enjoyable than the previous.

maverick (June 25, 2004)

I just bought this record yesterday, and thought it was a huge disappointment. The only tracks I can even remember after two listens are the single and "Triple Trouble." Most of the beats are bland and predictable, and MCA's flow especially is just horrendous.

I love the Beastie Boys. Check Ya Head is one of my all-time favorite albums. I have a 6-foot tall Hello Nasty poster. This album was just not worth the wait or the hype.


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