Age Against the Machine is a frantic mix of eclectic sounds and genres. The contrast between the heavy and often absurd electro sounds and Southern gospel-inspired beats reflects the tug-of-war between the ultra modern and Dirty South hip hop.
Cee Lo has brought with him a slicker production that at first seems at odds with their gritty hip hop roots but actually makes it more accessible to the genre’s modern audience.
The lyrics signal a return to their original message of protest. “State of the Art (Radio Killa)” criticises the empty songs radio insists on promoting. “Special Education” deals with those that disapprove of being different, saying “It’s kind of sad and it’s a shame / Everyone wants to be the same”, while white economic supremacy is the focus of the short yell fest that is “Power”.
The album, however, does seem a little disjointed at times. Much of the music is heavily influenced by Cee Lo’s solo style. This is clearly seen with soul song “Amy”, which feels like it would fit better into Cee Lo’s personal repertoire than on a hip hop album. The album is also littered with random interludes that are only a few seconds long.
Goodie Mob has done exciting things with their new album. However, the combination of Cee Lo’s over-bearing presence and the jumble of sound make the album feel somewhat misguided.