Album of the day (#993): The Low End Theory

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albummaster
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  • #1
  • Posted: 08/06/2013 20:00
  • Post subject: Album of the day (#993): The Low End Theory
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Today's album of the day

The Low End Theory by A Tribe Called Quest (View album | Buy this album)

Year: 1991.
Country:
Overall rank: 232
Average rating: 82/100 (from 232 votes).


Thumbnail. Click to enlarge.


Tracks:
1. Excursions
2. Buggin' Out
3. Rap Promoter
4. Butter
5. Verses From The Abstract
6. Show Business
7. Vibes and Stuff
8. The Infamous Date Rape
9. Check The Rhime
10. Everything Is Fair
11. Jazz (We've Got)
12. Skypager
13. What?
14. Scenario

About album of the day: The BestEverAlbums.com album of the day is the album appearing most prominently in member charts in the previous 24 hours. If an album, or artist, has previously been selected within a x day period, the next highest album is picked instead (and so on) to ensure a bit of variety. A full history of album of the day can be viewed here.
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Puncture Repair





  • #2
  • Posted: 08/06/2013 20:01
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I was hoping to be blown away by this album, but there wasn't anything too original or appealing that I could take away from it.

I was looking forward to the whole jazz thing, but all it is is a double bass used in some songs, which is kinda cool I guess.
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Kiki





  • #3
  • Posted: 08/06/2013 20:03
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Jazz (We've Got) is a good song.
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ShaneSpear
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  • #4
  • Posted: 08/06/2013 20:08
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Who's that? Broooooooooooooooooooooooooown!
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ProfessorSquid



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  • #5
  • Posted: 08/06/2013 20:18
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I've always preferred Midnight Marauders, but this is still an old school East Coast classic.
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Guest





  • #6
  • Posted: 08/06/2013 20:30
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Amazing, obvs.
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Guest





  • #7
  • Posted: 08/06/2013 20:34
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Puncture Repair wrote:
I was hoping to be blown away by this album, but there wasn't anything too original or appealing that I could take away from it.

I was looking forward to the whole jazz thing, but all it is is a double bass used in some songs, which is kinda cool I guess.


You bring up a very valid point about albums being hyped too much before we listen to them, sometimes to such a point that they can never live up to such expectations. I guess looking at it retrospectively, this album isn't a world away from some other hip-hop albums of the time, but there are certain things that set it apart.

For a start, this album uses space so well. The beats aren't in any way cluttered, yet they never feel as minimal as perhaps they should. Tip knew exactly which drums to put over the bass to give the track a real lived-in, organic feel (see the second half of 'Buggin' Out', or the strange "drip-drop" percussion that sits just beneath the surface on 'Verses from the Abstract', or the bongos on 'Check The Rhyme'). I think it's that organic feeling people are referring to when call this album "jazzy" (although there are overtly jazzy numbers here too, like 'Vibes and Stuff', 'Excursions', 'Check The Rhyme', 'Scenario', and obviously 'Jazz (We've Got)'). The album may not be full of your stereotypical jazzy T.R.O.Y. horns, but it doesn't need to be. Often on this album, it's just bass and drums; the rappers act as the soloists. Phife is like Charlie Parker, using his voice to quickly hop between notes in a raw, expressive way, but still keeping within the already established template of how a rap "should" work (i.e. not going all Ol' Dirty Bastard crazy all over the track). Q-Tip is far more laid back, bringing his production nous to his rapping and just using his natural ear and sense of space perception to fill in the right gaps, like Miles on Kind of Blue. It's about as "jazzy" as hip-hop ever got (without turning to actual live jazz instrumentation, like Guru's Jazzmatazz), and it manages to be so without simply relying on predictable jazz samples. It's a laid-back, atmospheric album that is more than the sum of its parts.

All of that said, Midnight Marauders is better.
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Jasonconfused
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  • #8
  • Posted: 08/07/2013 04:40
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One of my favorite hip-hop albums.
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RockyRaccoon
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  • #9
  • Posted: 08/07/2013 14:59
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I actually just recently fell in love with this album. I love it, there's just something so cool about the feel of it, I can't quite put my finger on it. I especially love Q-Tip's rapping, dude is seriously good.
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  • #10
  • Posted: 08/07/2013 17:01
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Loved it! Just very laid back and positive.
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