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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 8 September 2006
This album needs to be viewed in the context of Outkast's six previous albums, rather than just with reference to Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Hit singles such as Ms Jackson and Hey Ya thrust Outkast into the mainstream, but before this they had released 3 top quality albums. Southernplayalistic.., ATLiens and Aquemini appear to fall more easily into the rap genre, but were just as progressive both lyrically and musically, albeit in a less obvious way.

Idlewild represents an amalgamation of the various ideas that Outkast have experimented with over the past 12 years or so - they really have been around that long. We have Big Boi's synthetic beats and 'Rooster' rapping style from Speakerboxxx, and Andre's jazz piano and singing was a recurrent theme on The Love Below. Going back further, rapping styles characteristic of Stankonia - think Gasoline Dreams in particular - are revived on 'The Mighty O', and the jumpy blues theme as tried in Aquemini can be heard throughout. With so much going on it can be hard to notice the tangy guitar licks so prevalent on ATLiens underneath everything, but they are there in the more soulful songs.

Idlewild's new twist, the musical theme, is arguably far less groundbreaking than some of the artistic leaps Outkast have taken in the past.

With Idlewild, they are now singing from the same hymn sheet with a result that is pleasing to listen to, if slightly too vaudeville for some. As a consolation, the sound is funked-up to a degree extreme by even Outkast's standards, and the collaborations work well.

The real question is, where do they go from here? Idlewild feels like a consolidation based around the temporary theme of the musical, and hence it may be something of a stop-gap. It looks like Antwon is going to be another rapper turned actor. I have a suspicion that Andre would love to produce a rock album. He could be the next Jimi Hendrix.. or maybe just the next Bing Crosby if the affair with swing turns into something more permanent.
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on 30 August 2006
Excelent price for nearly 25 songs. every single one is my favourite. except for the last song which is a guitar solo for like 8 minutes, but other than that its absolutly great, a must have!
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VINE VOICEon 10 February 2011
IN recent years rap artists have moved into different areas to broaden the genre, but none more so than the mighty Outkast.

With this, their most recent album, which also soundtracks a film (which I've never seen) they take us in to vaudevillian rap heaven. There are nods to past wonder albums Stankonia and the Love Below, but in all honesty, this kicks down all sorts of doors to open up the minds of even their most adventurous listener.

As is my way, I will not give away key tracks as this is an album that is made to be listened to from start to finish in the order it was laid down. There are guest star in here which flesh out some of the tracks and as you'll have gathered by my review, not a dud in here. And if you are somehow averse to rap, then think Prince at his most recent best and then turn up the quality to 11 and you're nearly there.

It is truly a brilliant, courageous and natural album from two of the best black stars of modern times, the best thing about which is the fact that they are in the same band.

Outkast, one great band, two amazing rap stars. Wonderful.
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on 29 August 2006
I've been with Outkast since Southernplayalistic... in that time we've born witness to a real evolution of their sound into two of the most experimental artists within Hiphop, whilst still retaining the knack of making good music. I had some reservations about this album before I'd actually heard it. Would the '30s vibe be too much? Would this be a step too far? Answer: Nope! Although they've taxed the vibes of various 1930s musical styles and infused it with their own unique Atlien brand of Hiphop, you need not worry. This is very much a follow-up to Speakerboxx/Love Below, indeed, "PJ & Rooster" sounds every inch this albums "Hey Ya", and with other tasty tunes such as the fun "Minnie the Moocher" tinted straight up Hiphop of "Big O", and the more mellow and melodic "Train" and "In Your Dreams" you best believe that Outkast are still all that and a bag o' chips. Wicked.
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on 22 August 2006
First of all, I'm a massive Outkast fan and got into them just before Aquemini came out (which is their best album by far). I'm all for musical growth, but it just feels disjointed. I know they recorded separately, and I think you can tell in the styles of the tracks.

I wasn't a massive fan of 'The Love Below' and the direction Dre was I was dubious, but will still continue to buy Outkast albums until they stop recording them. Dre was the best lyricist in hip hop for 5 years or so, but the 'singing' tracks all seem to blend into one eclectic style. Don't get me wrong, Dre's contributions to Idlewild are much better than 'The Love Below'......but overall it just doesnt feel like an Outkast album.

There are good tracks on here without a doubt, that are reminiscent of what Outkast evolved into....but I feel there are a few filler tracks.....and Outkast were never capable of 'fillers'. All the 'new Outkast fans' will love this......and the rest will enjoy half the tracks hoping that Dre wants to start dropping lyrical gems again and give us all that classic 'hip hop' 'kast album.
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on 5 September 2006
Many similarities can be drawn with The Love Below; Andre's half of Outkast's previous double album. For instance, the featuring of Macy Gray's eerie vocals on the haunting 'The Greatest Show on Earth' can be paralleled with Norah Jones' duet on 'Take Off Your Cool', both singers are unusual on the hip-hop scene and exemplify OutKast's experimental approach to both albums. Someone has said that you might be disappointed with the "indulgent" 8-minute track 'A Bad Note'; this too is similar to the techno oddity "My Favourite Thing" in André's previous venture. While I see it as a waste off space, it does give the album the feel of a continuous piece of work joined together following smoothly reminiscent of possibly OutKast's best Album Aquemini, rather than simply a collection of tracks, something that I feel 'Got Purp' has failed to do.

Talking of 'Got Purp?' several up and coming artists on that album make a brilliant appearance on 'Idlewild'. I really loved Scar and Killer Mike's tracks on the album, especially Cee-Lo's duet with Scar on 'What Is This?'. I feel however, that Scar's vocals on tracks like Morris Brown are fantastic and really give the album 'Idlewild' depth as a hip-hop album not just stuck to a rap genre. Sadly, unlike any Outkast Album before (and like Creamfields) Cee-Lo does not appear on this album- whilst initially I was disappointed I realise that this gives Sleepy Brown and Scar as well as the sweet Janelle Monae a chance to shine.

What I like about Outkast is their subtle links rather like the cleverness of imagery in Shakespeare where themes are used and then later picked up on to give the feel of an organic whole. In some ways this album is as complex as Michael Jackson's Moon Walker, except it's a film, a soundtrack and an album rather than a film using singles from several albums. It's an impressive step forward, and as a massive Outkast/ Dungeon Family fan, I loved it.

I think you'll agree this is an album worth buying, it may not be what you expect but you'll be pleasantly surprised.
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on 25 August 2006
This is great! A different kind of music played here, but it works. The Best track is probably Morris Brown. If you liked the speakerboxx album, you should definately get this. With some interesting songs and good lyrics, A must-have album this year.
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on 20 January 2008
In Idlewild Outkast seem to lose all essence of what they really can do: excellent songwriting and catchy beats. This album is so obviously a film soundtrack, with irritating country tracks and coutless interludes. It is a shame there are so few collaberations between Dre and Big Boi on this one because I think thats how they do it best. This albums a real dissapointment when you think of Outkasts earlier albums like Stankonia and Big Boi and Dre Present. Not worth buying, if you ask me!
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on 7 June 2013
Incredible album by an extremely talented group. It is about time that Outkast got together again to bring us more quality!
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on 21 January 2007
Again Outkast have come out with a whole new style of music. Not happy with being perhaps the best there ever will be in the hip hop - funk scene, they come out with Idlewild. A magnificent mix of 1930's blues, Jazz, R&B, Hip Hop, and some very funky soul.

When I first bought this album, I didn't know what to expect. I listened to it once through and was gutted. My favourite artists of all time were no longer that, they had brought out a below average album and thoroughly disappointed me.

However, I am at times a very fickle being. For I gave this a second chance and it proved to me, that this may even be Outkasts best work yet. With every listen the lyrics and beats make an ever bigger impact. This is without a doubt in my top 5 albums of all time.

Remember, if you purchase this album, give it time. Finding that this is infact a masterpiece after first thinking of it as a failed experiment, will make this even sweeter.

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