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  Listen Up! 10/10/03 Listen Up!

Friday, Oct. 10

Outkast, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below,” Arista Records. This record is sneaking its way into my consciousness, as the complex and catchy beats seem to be turning up all over the store at various times. I’m still overwhelmed by the sprawl of this two-CD set (really, two separate solo albums, one from Dre, one from Big Boi), each of which seems determined to prove no idea is too wild for Outkast to give an airing. And, really, why shouldn’t they? These guys are breaking every rule in the game, starting with the one that says extremely successful hip-hop records have to stick pretty closely to the commercial regimen of the current day. If this record turns out to be influential in the way that Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic” was back in 1992 – I mean if suddenly all the hit rappers have to figure out how to change or fall off the charts – it should be fascinating to see whether the experimental spirit or the specific sounds are what gets incorporated into the work of everybody who follows. Two weeks as the number one album in the country is impressive, but it’s the next few years that are in Outkast’s sights.

Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, “Sleep/Holiday,” Sanctuary Records. Very quiet, very beautiful record. This definitely requires fuller attention than I could give to it here, but it just as definitely pleased me while it was on. This band has been around for a long time, and I haven’t heard much of their stuff. Obviously, I’ve been remiss. Situation: About to be rectified.

--Steve Pick

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