The phrase ?new Beastie Boys album? usually generates the kind of excitement that only the addendum ?all-instrumental? can quash. Ever since
Check Your Head
, the Beasties have sprinkled their records with jammy interludes?pleasant enough, but hardly up to the standards of the authentic space-funk workouts that inspired them. What The Mix Up
mainly proves is that the Beastie Boys are capable of reproducing this kind of lightly psychedelic blaxploitation-soundtrack fodder on demand, complete with gutbucket organ and wakka-wakka guitar. The trio adds a little tropical flavor on ?Suco De Tangerina,? and nods to proto-hip-hop on ?14th Street Break,? but while the album as a whole sounds perfectly fine, it?s not especially varied, and almost none of it is particularly memorable. The Mix Up
?s whole reason for being isn?t just elusive, it?s a little alarming. This is what happens when three of the wittiest guys in rap history discover they have nothing to say.