The less-lauded half of Outkast has released his second solo album, “Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors,” when people still talk more about Andre (sadly absent here), at a time when “good kid, m.A.A.d city,” “LongLiveA$AP,” and “R.A.P. Music” are dominating all the rap conversation.
One listen to “Vicious Lies,” though, is an immediate reminder that this A-town man is not one to be forgotten. He who makes crude sound so smooth, he of a singularly unique creative vision, has returned with an album again heavier on the “hit” end than the “miss.”
Dropping a good amount of “Sir Lucius Left Foot” funk, Big Boi has replaced it with surprisingly effective electronic and indie, including a surprisingly effective, if out of place, song with indie punk Wavves (“Shoes For Running”). Other odd collaborators include Phantogram (two stellar tracks) and Little Dragon (mixed results). Many other more expected contributors drop by, including A$AP Rocky (“Lines”) and Kid Cudi (“She Hates Me”) on two of the standout tracks.
There are misses, yes; this isn’t quite the mastercraft his previous album was. The album suffers from some serious drag by the time the seventeenth track crawls along, with the last third falling short of the consistent highs of the first two due to a number of unnecessary songs.
“Vicious Lies” ultimately doesn’t deserve quite the same raves those other albums have, but it certainly warrants being in conversation. The slick Big Boi is one of the more creative rappers out there. Listeners may forget they’re listening to one of the world’s premier rap minds in some of the softer electronic parts.
Ever interesting, consistently great, and always enjoyable, Big Boi’s music should find a spot in every listener’s playlist.