A startlingly diverse effort, the Beasties' fifth album Hello Nasty saw the welcome addition of a new DJ, the abundantly skilled Mix Master Mike of the Invizibl Skratch Picklz. A quirky but effective combination of old school fundamentals ("Three MC's and One DJ") and futuristic trickery ("Intergalactic"), this album successfully conveys their energy, originality, and spark.
On their previous album, Ill Communication, the Beastie Boys expanded their parameters yet again, melding cutting-edge hip-hop with slinky jazz, butt-wiggling funk, weepy classical, and combustive punk rock. Four years down the line, the group's music isn't nearly as organic. They've all but abandoned the guitars and returned to the kind of old-school beats and rhythms that defined their groundbreaking 1989 album, Paul's Boutique.