After July's Most of My Heroes Still Don't Appear on No Stamp, Public Enemy is back with their twelfth studio album. Chuck D stated in an interview that these two album are fraternal twins, but other than the fact that they were released in the same year these two are completely different from one another. In many ways this album improves on it's predecessor's missteps, but it has stronger shortcomings.
One of my issues with "Most of My Heroes..." was that Chuck D's flow was all over the place. Well on this he sounds a lot more comfortable which makes for a more enjoyable experience. Lyrically Chuck D is just Chuck D. Talking about politics, racism, and even giving us a Trayvon tribute on track five "Beyond Trayvon". He still fumbles a few times, most notable on track six "Everything": "Got no million follow friends on Twitter on Facebook. Look at my friends." It just sounds like it was a bad take, but they were too lazy to do another one. The beat for that song is amazing, but Chuck sounds uncomfortable on it.
Production wise this album is much more diverse than its "twin". You have the reggae influenced "Don't Give Up The Fight," the soul influenced "Everything," and the rock influenced "Riotstarted". In my opinion the production on this is more enjoyable than "Most of My Heroes..." I really enjoyed the production on the last album, but I enjoy some diversity so this album gets the W in that category.
With this album we see the return of Flavor Flav getting the spotlight on some songs. These songs, for me, have always been the low points of PE albums so I wasn't too excited about this. His songs really ruin the flow of the album and bring down the overall quality because they're so generic. The album ends with 2010's "Say It Like It Really Is" so I was excited that the song finally had a home on my iPod. It was a great way to end the album simply because it's what PE has been doing for close to three decades, sayin' it like it really is.
Standout Songs: "Don't Give Up The Fight (Feat. Ziggy Marley)," "2 (Respect) (Feat. Davy DMX)" & "Riotstarted (Feat. Tom Morello & Henry Rollins)"
Overall Score: 8/10 - Even though the production and Chuck's flow on this is better than the last album, those two Flavor Flav tracks really bring this down. As I said they ruin the flow of the album and it seems like they were placed in the worst positions possible. Still, this is a great album overall and I would recommend checking it out if you're a fan of PE.