Artist: Public EnemyTitle: Bring That Beat Back (The Public Enemy Remix Project)Rating: 2 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Matt Caputo
With Flavor Flav’s successful resurgence via sleazy hoes, the good people at Koch Records went ahead and put some Public Enemy music back on the shelves. The result is Bring That Beat Back: The Public Enemy Remix Project (Koch Records). While many old school PE fans might have preferred different tracks, remix projects tend to be hit or miss and the likely inability to secure their better-known material makes this one a miss. While Bring That Beat Back could never, in any way, damage the legacy PE has put down, the music in this album comes mostly from the past 10 years.
Early on, there are signs of cleverness. On the get-go track, also dubbed “Bring That Beat Back,” Queensbridge and breakbeat collide when C-Doc throws horns and hooks from MC Shan’s “The Bridge” into a simple formula. “Watch The Door” wins for its overall positive cool and funky feeling. The remix on “Public Enemy No.1” works well and features sharp scratching, but sounds a little recycled. “Put it Up,” another C-Doc remix, is another good cut mainly because of it’s Hip-Hop soul infusion and political undertones including a sample that challenges The Patriot Act.
“World Tour Sessions” doesn’t fit the real sound Public Enemy brought to the forefront, so you can’t say they weren’t trying something new. But the beat better fits Garth Brooks than Chuck D. vocals. “MKLVFKWR” and “Superman’s Back in The Building” seem rough around the edges.
The overall theme in what was an honest idea is that Bring That Beat Back is probably a failure to launch. Holding the album back is weaker production and a lack of tracks that make up the heart of the groups identity. As Public Enemy is an eternal super group whose influence extends well beyond the realm of bars and hooks, Bring That Beat Back fails to repackage a volume of their definitive work.