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Shaolins Finest
Shaolins Finest
Offered by tunesonline
Price: 7.43

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ghostface's 'Greatest Hits', 2 Oct 2003
This review is from: Shaolins Finest (Audio CD)
This album contains a tracks taken from all three of Ghostface's solo albums, thankfully, the fewest are from his inferior third album Bulletproof Wallets, with a larger number from his earlier works Ironman and Supreme Clientele. This makes for a good album, but unfortunately, the fairly small number of tracks on this compilation means that many good tracks are not here, reducing the quality of the album overall. For instance, it could have included 'Assassination Day', 'Winter Warz' 'Motherless Child', 'Saturday Nite' or 'Wu-Banga 101' without running out of space on the disc. It is therefore not really worth importing while you can buy his first two albums in full within the U.K.
As a Ghostface fan myself, I feel this compilation fails due to the superiority of his individual albums (perhaps excluding Bulletproof Wallets) to it.


Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
Price: 9.02

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another OutKast Classic!, 30 Sep 2003
As the album is split into two discs, one for Big Boi & one for Andre 3000, I'll review them "separately".
Firstly, Big Boi's Speakerboxxx disc, which, weighing in with 19 tracks at a total length of just under an hour, is the shorter of the two. It is in a fairly conventional OutKast hip hop style (insofar as OutKast can be said to be conventional!).
Although the number of guests seems to threaten the consistency and continuity of Big Boi's own raps, this fails to occur, as the short track lengths, dope beats, high quality guest spots, and Big Boi's own skilled performance keep the album moving.
None of the tracks are permitted to outstay their welcome, with the result that you are left wanting more of everything (I often end up playing the album through twice in a row). This is a rarity in hip hop today, which often seems to believe that filling the CD to the brim is more important than what you fill it with.
Standout tracks include the thought-provoking "War" or "Knowing", the melancholy "Unhappy", and the bangers "GhettoMusick" and "The Rooster", although all are excellent.
Andre 3000's The Love Below disc is almost bizarre. The man who made Eminem's Top 5 MC list seems to have given up rapping! Yes, Andre has completely flipped and made an album about love and all its facets, in which he spends most of the time singing.
Fear not however, for somehow this doomed enterprise isn't doomed: inexplicably, it works! Once I got over the initial shock of Andre's change of tack, it seemed to grow on me until I now like it perhaps more than Speakerboxxx. It may take three listens to come round to this viewpoint, though, so give it a chance and don't dismiss it if you don't like it at first.
There's only one standout track on this one, the sting in the tail that is "A Life In The Day Of Benjamin Andre (Incomplete)".
The only track on which Andre truly raps, it should be listened to: I won't give away its secrets as I only half understand it myself.
The rest of the album is good even to the cod-olde-English skit "Good Day, Good Sir", which would probably be intensely irritating if anyone but Andre had done it. There's no filler in its nearly 80 minute length, which is some achievement, and so this disc can be listened to from beginning to end, just like Speakerboxxx.
The only problems with this album are that there are only two tracks on which both Andre & Big Boi feature, and that I can't figure out which disc is the "first" half (but I suspect that that is intentional).
All in all, another classic, to join Aquemini & Stankonia in demonstrating why OutKast are probably the best hip hop group in existence today.


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