Culling The Herd: The Beastie Boys

Read the original "Culling the Herd" post here

The Beastie Boys, "Licensed to Ill" - 5 stars / 3 stars.  Dig it / Dump it.

The 5-star rating here goes to one song - "Fight For Your Right To Party," which...well, it doesn't hold up too well but is just one of those songs that has to stay, just in case I want to hear it someday.  That happens once in a while.  The 3-star / dump it goes to "Brass Monkey."  I think I burned that because my ex-wife thought it was clever and funny.  She was, you know, wrong.

The Beastie Boys, "To The Five Boroughs" - 3 stars.  Hold it.

I remember 9/11.  I was at work and first heard of it from my old boss who had this annoying habit of getting slightly bugeyed whenever he said something that needed your response.  Between strikes on the towers (i.e. before anyone knew what was happening), we bumped into each other at the coffee machine. "A plane hit the World Trade Center," he said.  Bugeyes.  I think I said that I remembered reading that a plane had hit the Empire State Building during World War 2 and went back to my desk to surf cnn.com.  My reaction changed as the day continued.  Well, obviously.

I bring it up here because I could've sworn that this record was considered some sort of response to the attacks.  I've listened to it a few times over the years and always had that in mind - that this was an Important record, and I was therefore supposed to like it.  But my response has always been...lukewarm.  I thought that now, with some perspective on the attacks and after being reminded of 9/11 from all the 10-year anniversary commemorations over last few weeks, I might see it.  But I don't.  I like a few tracks - "Ch-Ch-Check It Out" and "3 The Hard Way" are pretty good and I'll keep them.  But "Open Letter to NYC" - the supposed centerpiece to the record - just seems...well, kinda lame.  Which bums me out, and I have no idea why.  Ah, well.