Sunday, February 8, 2004

Outkast win Album of the Year with Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

Speakerboxxx/The Love Below


Released: September 23, 2003

Charted: October 11, 2003

Peak: 17 US, 11 RB, 8 UK, 4 CN, 9 AU

Sales (in millions): 5.5 US, 0.6 UK, 7.62 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: rap


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Intro [1:29]
  2. Ghetto Musick (Benjamin/ Gamble/ Patton/ Sigler) [3:56] (7/15/03, 93 RB)
  3. Unhappy (Patton/ Sheats) [3:19]
  4. Bowtie (with Sleepy Brown & Jazze Pha) (Alexander/ Brown/ Patton) [3:56]
  5. The Way You Move (with Sleepy Brown) (Brown/ Mahone/ Patton) [3:54] (9/13/03, 1 US, 7 UK, 2 RB)
  6. The Rooster (Mahone/ Mathis/ Patton) [3:57]
  7. Bust (with Killer Mike) (Crenshaw/ Patton/ Render) [3:08]
  8. War (Benjamin/ Patton/ Sheats) [2:43]
  9. Church (Benjamin/ Brown/ Crenshaw/ Kendricks/ Patton) [3:27]
  10. Bamboo (Interlude) (?) [2:09]
  11. Tomb of the Boom (with Konkrete, Big Gipp, & Ludacris) (Andrews/ Bridges/ Elder/ Gipp/ Patton/ Patton) [4:46]
  12. E-Mac (Interlude) (?) [0:24]
  13. Knowing (Patton) [3:32]
  14. Flip Flop Rock (with Killer Mike & Jay-Z) (Carter/ Patton/ Render/ Sheats) [4:35]
  15. Interlude [1:15]
  16. Reset (with Khujo Goodie & Cee-Lo) (Burton/ Knighton/ Patton) [4:35]
  17. D-Boi (Interlude) (?) [0:40]
  18. Last Call (with Slimm Calhoun, Lil’ Jon, & Mello) (Benjamin/ Hollins/ Loving/ Patton) [3:57]
  19. Bowtie (Postlude) (Alexander/ Brown/ Patton) [0:34]

The Love Below:

  1. The Love Below (intro) [1:27]
  2. Love Hater (Benjamin/ Kendricks) [2:49]
  3. God (Interlude) [2:20]
  4. Happy Valentine’s Day [5:23]
  5. Spread [3:51]
  6. Where Are My Panties? [1:54]
  7. Prototype [5:26] (12/6/03, 63 RB)
  8. She Lives in My Lap (with Rosario Dawson) (Benjamin/ Dennis/ Hawkins/ Hayes/ Jordan/ King/ Troutman/ Vidal) [4:27]
  9. Hey Ya! [3:55] (10/18/03, 1 US, 6 UK, 9 RB, 16 MR)
  10. Roses (Benjamin/ Boykin/ Patton) [6:09] (3/6/04, 9 US, 4 UK, 12 RB)
  11. Good Day, Good Sir [1:24]
  12. Behold a Lady [4:37]
  13. Pink & Blue (Benjamin/ Kelly) [5:04]
  14. Love in War [3:25]
  15. She’s Alive (Benjamin/ Kendricks) [4:06]
  16. Dracula’s Wedding (with Kelis) [2:32]
  17. My Favorite Things (with Norah Jones) [5:13]
  18. Take Off Your Cool [2:38]
  19. Vibrate [6:33]
  20. A Life in the Day of Benjamin André (Incomplete) [5:11]
Songs on The Love Below written by André Benjamin unless noted otherwise.

Total Running Time: 1:34:39


4.174 out of 5.00 (average of 28 ratings)

Quotable: “Among the best hip-hop and best pop music released this decade” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“To call OutKast’s follow-up to their 2000 masterpiece Stankonia the most eagerly awaited hip-hop album of the new millennium may be hyperbole, but not by much. In its kaleidoscopic, deep-fried amalgam of Dirty South, dirty funk, techno, and psychedelia, Stankonia was fearlessly exploratory and giddy with possibilities. It was hard to imagine where the duo was going to go next.” AMG

What few would have predicted is that the duo of André 3000 and Big Boi would split. The duo had always been “defined by dichotomies — regional versus celestial, order amid chaos, blackness and the universal. On their fifth studio album, that tension could no longer be contained on one CD.” RS’20 So they each made their own album and then packaged them as a double from OutKast. It is “kind of like if the Beatles issued The White Album as one LP of Lennon tunes, the other of McCartney songs.” AMG Each album has its “own distinct character” AMG and “may be more coherent,” AMG but the effect is to “diminish the idea of OutKast slightly, since the focus is on the individuals, not the group.” AMG

Still, “both records are visionary, imaginative listens, providing some of the best music of 2003.” AMG One would expect Big Boi’s Speakerboxxx to be more conventional and André 3000’s The Love Below to be more experimental, but it doesn’t quite play out that way. AMG

From the moment Speakerboxxx kicks into gear with GhettoMusick and its relentless blend of old-school 808s and breakneck breakbeats, it's clear that Boi is ignoring boundaries, and the rest of his album follows suit.” AMG “Big Boi’s verbal funk overflowed on Speakerboxxx,” RS’20 and it’s grounded firmly within hip-hop, but the beats bend against the grain and the arrangements are overflowing with ideas and thrilling, unpredictable juxtapositions.” AMG

Bowtie swings like big-band jazz filtered through George Clinton.” AMG With its “slick talk and soulful horns” RS’20The Way You Move offsets its hard-driving verses with seductive choruses” AMG and “The Rooster cheerfully rides a threatening minor-key mariachi groove, salted by slippery horns and loose-limbed wah-wah guitars. It’s a hell of a ride, reclaiming the adventurous spirit of the golden age and pushing it into a new era.” AMG

“By contrast, The Love Below isn’t so much visionary as it is unapologetically eccentric. And as the cocktail jazz pianos that sparkle through the first few songs indicate, it’s not much of a hip-hop album.” “André 3000’s inner crooner exhaled like never before” RS’20 while he creates “the great lost Prince album – the platter that the Purple One recorded somewhere between Around the World in a Day and Sign ‘O’ the Times.” AMG For example, “She Lives in My Lap is a close relation of the B-side ‘She's Always in My Hair.’” AMG

The difference is that “Prince was tortured; André is trying to get laid. That cheerfully randy spirit surges through The Love Below, even on the spooky-serious closer, A Life in the Day of Benjamin Andre, and it gives André the freedom to try a little of everything, from mock crooning on Love Haters to a breakbeat jazz interpretation of My Favorite Things to the strange one-man funk of Roses and the incandescent” AMG and “borderless pop bliss of Hey Ya!,” RS’20 “where classic soul and electro-funk coexist happily.” AMG

In the end, while the records “are very different, but…they both feel thoroughly like OutKast music.” AMG The two albums “wind up sounding unified because they share the same freewheeling aesthetic, where everything is alive and everything is possible within their music. That spirit fuels not just the best hip-hop, but the best pop music.” AMG The pair of albums “are among the best hip-hop and best pop music released this decade.” AMG

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First posted 3/29/2008; last updated 4/24/2022.

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