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on 6 February 2004
This is a good album but not a great one
I actually preferred disc 1, i thought disc 2 could have been pruned and cut down from its 80 minutes or so.
There is a fair amount of filler in disc 2 that ultimately is not that satisfying
Disc 1 however, has tracks such as Ghetto Muzick which is like the son of George Clinton and the Marvin Gaye esqye "way you move"
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on 9 May 2004
I have just listened to both albums and i'm surprised at how different they are.
'SPEAKERBOXXX' is 'Big Boi's' album and it mixes Hip Hop, Rock and Jazz. The best songs on 'SPEAKERBOXXX' are 'Ghettomusick', 'The Way You Move', 'Church', 'Flip Flop Rock' and 'Last Call'.
Songs like 'Ghettomusick' and 'The Way You Move' mix hip-hop and jazz beats together superbly.
Most songs on 'SPEKAERBOXXX' have similar style but you'll enjoy every single one.
No one expected 'THE LOVE BELOW' to turn out the way it did and even though 'ANDRE 3000' is a genius when it comes to rapping, he's opted to use a slower type of music.
Not that ANDRE'S new style disappoints, it actually makes it better, BIG BOI has a different style and so by the two artists not copying eachother it gives a refreshing new style of music.
Songs like 'Love Hater', 'Spread', 'Hey Ya!', 'Roses' and 'Behold A Lady' show the real vocal talent of ANDRE and hopefully will be a starting point for a brand new OUTKAST.
BRILLIANT ALBUM, MUST-BUY, 5 STARS
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on 20 May 2004
Firstly, I really hope people actually take the time to read this review, because almost all the other's I have read just ramble on about how people used to love OutKast and how they've turned into an awful pop-rap group. However, I would like to defend the case of the duo.
This album is one of the most anticipated of the year, mainly because it had been rumoured that Andre 3000 and Big Boi were barely even on speaking terms... It therefore did not come as a surprise when the two disc album appeared. The first, Speakerboxxx, is Big Boi's offering. This alone would have made a pretty fantastic album alone. Although not anything very "new" (i.e. experimental) it shows that the guy has talent, and he can keep on making good rap songs. That is not to say that the album is nothing special. Tracks like "GhettoMusick" add a new pumping beat style to OutKast's music, employing Andre's vocal skills with Big Boi's rapping finesse.
Andre 3000's "The Love Below" is absolutely mind-blowing. It is far more experimental than Big Boi's, although not necessarily better. It demonstrates the diversity present in the group currently. Perhaps this is the last album OutKast will make. Who can tell? Tracks like "Happy Valentine's Day" maintain the incredibly catchy but supremely cool style that the group deployed in the most famous OutKast track, "Miss Jackson".
I urge you to buy this album. Actually, no, I don't. Hardcore fans of OutKast may well find the album a bit too experimental for them. Progressive rap is the order of the day here on both discs, so prepare to be shocked by the new styles. I give the album a 5/5 rating purely from an inspirational point of view. Go buy!
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VINE VOICEon 13 September 2010
By 2003, Outkast had already produced a handful of hip-hop's greatest albums, with predecessor Stankonia also taking their fame and sales global. But rumours of disarray dogged them, and the follow-up eventually emerged not as one cohesive album but as a bizarre concept - a solo album from each member of the duo, released collectively under the Outkast name.

The solo albums couldn't be more different from each other, possibly explaining the innovation of their collaborative music. The first disc is Big Boi's Speakerboxxx, and it is one of the most extraordinary hip-hop albums of our time. Big Boi throws his tricksy rhymes on top of any music he can get his hands on, but never once does his reach exceed his grasp. Witness the clattering skank of 'Knowing' or the emotional piano arpeggios of 'Flip-Flop Rock.' The album has a big hit single in the form of the comparatively generic 'The Way You Move,' but tellingly, the album peaks early. Opener 'Ghettomusick' is one of the few where both members collaborate - it's a stop-start, psychedelic epic that is simply unlike anything else in the world of hip-hop; truly a staggering piece of work.

Andre 3000's The Love Below is the inferior of the two discs. Boasting the world-conquering 'Hey Ya,' Andre spends too much time indulging his Prince fantasies on songs which stretch on far too long. 'Roses,' another of the handful of collaborations between the duo, is one of their worst ever songs by far. Andre only really succeeds when he staples his ideas to a hip-hop beat or when he completely throws the rulebook out. In the latter category, you have 'Love Hater,' one part squealing Hendrix guitar, one part jazz falsetto - it's utterly insane. In the former, you have songs like the fantastic 'Happy Valentine's Day,' a two-step beat that erupts into bubbling synth midway through. Almost as good is the chilled R'n'B of 'Prototype.'

Both discs are far overpopulated with skits, as any Outkast (or rap in general) album is, and that five-star score isn't unwarranted. But the problem is the opportunity missed. When the two of them reach critical mass on 'Ghettomusick' they create something astonishing - and if you took the best songs from each disc, you'd not only have the greatest hip-hop album ever made, but you'd have one of the top ten albums ever made in any genre.
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on 7 September 2007
I personally have never understood OUTKAST, i mean their not REALLY hip-hop now are they? Anyhow, i would have to say that this double album is pretty good value for for money, especially if you want to listen to something different no matter what genre you into. Disk 2 (The Love Below) is muuuuucch better than Speakerboxx which has only one or possibly two good tracks on the whole thing. There is even a bonus of having 'hey ya' on The Love Below which will please all you radio heads out there no end.... Literally no end to it !!! All in all good, but not great.
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on 16 November 2003
There is not a great to say about this that hasn't been said already except it's every bit as good the other reviews make out.
Big Boi's "Speakerboxx" alone would have made for very satisfactory and actually damn satisfying follow-up to the excellent "Stankonia". Indeed, it is more in a similar vein to the aforementioned album; fantastic envelope-pushing hip-hop with a mix of funky groovers ("Bowtie", "The Way You Move"), thundering stompers ("Ghettomusick") and thought-provokers ("War").
Andre 3000's "The Love Below" is absolutely mind-blowing. Even having read all the reviews I was not prepared for anything this experimental, seemingly unrelated to anything else going on in music right now and damn better for it. It's the kind of music that makes you feel that most of your remaining music collection is a little less relevant than it was before.
But, as I say, so much has been said about it I only want to make the following comments:
1.As soon as it started I had a huge smile on my face that didn't leave until long after the album had finished.
2."Love Hater" and "Hey Ya" almost had me dancing down Oxford Street yesterday afternoon.
3.At the same time as I bought this I also got the Beatles rather splendid "Rubber Soul". Despite this, right now, I only want to listen to Outkast.
4.A couple of weeks ago I bought The Beatles' "White Album", Flaming Lips "Soft Bulletin" and Love's "Forever Changes"; all classics in their own right. Frankly, great as they are, I prefer "The Love Below".
In case you haven't worked it out yet, I kinda recommend this...
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on 14 November 2003
What a fantastic album! I'm not too big on Speakerboxxx, though some songs like the single "Way You Move" are quite good.
The Love Below however, is outstanding. Most of it isn't even rap or hip-hop at all, infusing different diverse styles of music all into one. "God" is beautiful acoustic introspection, "Prototype" is like a stripped down R&B/funk/folk-rock-y ballad, "Hey Ya" is pure soul-pop, "My Favorite Things" jazz with electronic backbeats, "Pink And Blue" is a moody atmospheric track like something Pink Floyd or Radiohead would do except with beautiful R&B-like vocals on it, "Roses" is Prince-like funk, "She's Alive" a beautiful piano ballad with gorgeous falsetto vocals, "Love Hater" is psychedelic big band jazz, "Take Off Your Cool"...is like jazzy R&B folk i guess! I could go on, but it goes to show you how stylistically diverse this album is, in an extremely rehashed, cliche and tired era of music this has currently been.
I really can't even imagine an average hip-hop radio fan enjoying this portion of the album, as it's more experimental and geared more towards "serious" music fans to me than anything. However, i really gotta hand it to Andre for going all out and creating something like this instead of any countless rap/hip-hop record you'll hear now a days with the same tired formula done yet again. Apparently it worked, since the album hit number 1! I don't think Speakerboxxx is as good, but it certainly is pretty creative as well, and still takes some chances with the hip-hop genre instead of yet again the same formulaic style.
I've recently heard "Prototype" is the new single to represent The Love Below, and i honestly can't imagine hearing this on a hip-hop/rap/modern R&B radio station. Beautifully ringing guitars, and a normal rock song structure (although it's not a normal "rock" song at all) are on this one, worlds away from any other single of the year (besides the guys's own "Hey Ya" which is different too).
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on 30 October 2011
I recently purchased "Stankonia" at a second hand CD shop, and I loved it. So I thought I'd buy another Outkast CD as I enjoyed it and wanted to hear more of them. This one was a double CD and was cheaper than the others and had good reviews, so I ordered it. When I got it, I first listened to "Speakerboxxx", it was a good hip-hop album and had some very good songs and if I was reviewing that CD alone it'd be a straight 5 star. However I then listened to "The Love Below" and it I was shocked. There was only about 3 songs which were actually hip-hop. The rest were a mixture of poor attempts at RnB, Jazz and Soul songs. I was hugely disapointed. However I can't complain really, it was worth the purchase just for "speakerboxx" and I would recomend buying it just for that.
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on 9 January 2004
As with many buyers i'm sure the single "Hey Ya" was their first serious introduction to Outkast. The Love Below got most of my initial attention and some of the tunes really are exceptional. It smacks of Prince at the turn of the 90's, and the very same artists that Prince drew from e.g. Rick James, Clinton et al. I've heard it quoted that its could be the album Prince never made in the nineties and I don't doubt it. Dre's effort is excellent great to see creativity alive and well in hip hop when most artists can't manage much else than prattling on about b*tches, glocks and weed. Big Boi's album I found not so instantly appealing but has grown to be my favourite of the two in terms of lyrics.
There's been speculation that this is perhaps the parting work for Outkast's Dre and Big Boi but what it does acheive is serving to show exactly where their individual talents lay: Boi's rhymes and beats with Dre's funked up tunes and melodies and way out, honest, sexual lyrics.
On a par with most artists in isolation, but in a different league than their peers when teamed up. Buy it,give it chance, you'll love it.
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on 16 March 2008
it's ridiculous how much this album is slated. People seem unable to appreciate OutKast without comparing this to their old work. The fact is that they managed to combine hiphop with a range of musical styles AND IT WORKS. There's no need to give examples, cos cases can be made for all the songs. Admittedly there are songs which seem to be dwarfed by the rest, but that just shows the strength of the other songs.
people say they gave this album one listen and couldn't do it again. their loss. Speakerboxxx/Love Below takes a few listens to fully appreciate, but once you do, you won't regret it
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