I have been waiting since 'ATLiens' came out for a follow up. I know it was only their second but I never really listened much to their first. It seemed as if Big Boi and Dre came out with 'Aquemini' within minutes after I'd seen it advertised. But its been in the works for a while.
I got really annoyed because when I saw other reviews, for example the review in The Source - 5 mics? And reviews at such places at the Krib (www.krib.com) - 5 stars, I thought to myself now they've gone to a stage greater than anything ever. I'm not saying this album isn't dope, no not in the slightest. But, think of it this way, 5 mics, 10/10, 100% all refers to something that cannot be improved upon. Even though I love this and even though I can't really think of a way that it could be enhanced, I still don't think it deserves a flawless mark.
From the second you put in the CD, and come across the first few tracks; 'Return Of The G,''Rosa Parks' and 'Skew It On The Bar-b' you realize your money was well spent. The album is a mixture between tracks which are intellectually awesome and pose some deep questions about life and the world that we live in but there's also tracks (the aforementioned included) that you will enjoy. Wait I've found a problem on the CD, the Intro 'Hold On, Be Strong' that could be improved, nah I'm joking, it's pretty smooth too.
The album has various feels and some very intriguing lyrics from others other than Outkast. Such as on the technologically questioning track 'Synthesizer' featuring George Clinton. As well as George Clinton and of course Outkast themselves, appearances are included from Goodie Mob, Raekwon, Erykah Badu (Dre's wife).
The production is fairly eclectic, from the very relaxed beats on 'Rosa Parks' to the hyped beats on 'Skew It On The Bar-b' to the P-Funk influenced 'Synthesizer' to...I could go on.
One of my favourite tracks is 'Liberation' featuring Cee-Lo, the track is quite long but the thought provoking content triggers off inspirational subject matter. 'SpottieOttieDopaliscious' is another standout track, which features the duo singing.
There still is a little bit of the first albums feel with track 7 'Slump.' This track was allegedly left off of the first album but put onto this one to appeal to the fans who disliked 'ATLiens' but loved 'SoutherPlayalistiCadillacMusik.'
My final paragraph, even though at times these southerners may confuse you a bit with their accents and seem to talk at a very fast pace, this album is without a doubt one of the years best. Pick it up if you have any sense, if not I hear there's a new Puffy album out in '99. Outkast, 'Aquemini' money worth being spent upon.