The Deal: New album marks 20th anniversary of legendary group.
The Good: Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Professor Griff, the S1Ws -- they're all here (well, not Terminator X). Flav sounds toned down and back to his old self on the horn-heavy first single, "Harder Than You Think." There's definitely an updated sound on the album (see "The Enemy Battle Hymn of the Public") while Chuck D's rhymes still sound as genuine as they did 10, 15 or 20 years ago. The band also goes the route of Jay-Z's "99 Problems," using a heavy rock riff behind the beats of "Frankenstar." The slow, old-school groove of "See Something, Say Something" was a definite highlight. A DVD is also packaged with the album. "Long and Whining Road" walks listeners through the group's history.
The Bad: A giant foldout CD cover without lyrics. Short interludes like those found on Fear of a Black Planet. "Flavor Man" may have been better on Flav's solo album, but it's better than "Col-Leepin." A few too many 20 year references.
The Verdict: The album shows they've still got it -- 20 years later. I just wonder why their last few albums didn't have the spark of this one.