The Dungeon Family are one of the few southern hip hop families to escape the stigma of southern hip hop and be accepted by most fans of the music. And while Outkast are arguably the most prolific members of the Dungeon fam, the Goodie Mob have had a strong following since their 1995 milestone 'Soul Food.' For the new millennium, they're dropping another album as a fairly quick follow up to last year's 'Still Standing.' As the title, 'World Party' suggests, the new album is of the fast-paced, club style that most popular hip-hop is moving towards. But does this make a good album?
Yeah, kind of. Although I've heard fans of the Goodie Mob criticize this album for not being faithful to their old style, my blissful ignorance has allowed me to come into it with an open mind. The first thing you will notice about this album is how the beats (and overall sound) of the tracks fall into two categories: somber and upbeat. Neither style dominates the LP, which is either a good or a bad thing. While the more thoughtful tracks are clearly superior, none of the songs based on club-styled beats fall flat.
Although there are moments such as the first single 'Get Rich To This', which seem to be a mix of the two styles, it's better to look at each set separately. Once you're passed the intro, you are thrown straight into the excellent title track. While the beat here isn't too bad, the album's brightest moment comes straight after with the D-Dot produced 'Chain Swang.' The thoughtful joints are fairly scarce later on, with only 'Rebuilding' and maybe 'Just Do It' really standing out.
And so on to the 'Party' section of the album. As with most tracks of this sort, the quality greatly varies. My personal favorites 'All As' and the closer 'Fie Fie Delish' are placed next to tracks such as the TLC collabo 'What It Aint (Ghetto Enuff),' which quite frankly just seem like junk to me. These tracks however are predictably repetitive (did we really need both 'The Dip' and 'Cutty Buddy'?) and generally add little to the album. While making party tracks was obviously what the group wanted to do with this album, I for one would have preferred more tracks along the lines of 'Chain Swang.'
While this change of direction for Goodie Mob may not be to everyone's taste, it's hard to say that an album which is so well done is a "sell-out," as albums like this are generally called. The tracks which I liked more are 'World Party's Achilles heel, as the rest of the record seems sub-par when juxtaposed with, say, 'Rebuilding' and 'Fie Fie Delish.' The better tracks definitely make it worth purchasing, but you should go in it with grounded expectations or you might end up being pretty disappointed.