Public Enemy Revolverlution

With Public Enemy getting their most recent video rejected by MTV and a new record criticising an American president named Bush, it must seem like old times for Chuck D and the crew. Indeed "Give The Peeps What They Need" and the title track prove the crew have still got something left in the tank and evoke the spirit of the group at its peak over a decade ago. However, this early promise is not fulfilled over the duration due to the unsteady focus of the project. Revolverlution doesn't know if it wants to be a rarities release, remix project or a new album. Alongside the new tracks there are live recordings of classic tracks like "Fight The Power" and "Welcome to The Terrordome" which are fine but their context is confusing. It's evident PE want to acknowledge their 15th year of existence in some way, but these tracks invariably pale into comparison with the originals. It also puts them in the no-win situation of comparing their heyday with their new material. While it was an interesting idea to solicit remixes from fans for classic tracks like "Shut 'Em Down" and "Public Enemy #1," the results are ponderous reworkings with rock and industrial leanings that possess none of the urgency or power of the originals. In this case the best things come from the in-house production team and Chuck D's thought-provoking material targeting the monopolies of record companies and radio stations on "54321... Boom" and the aforementioned critique of both Bush administrations on "Son of A Bush" provides some interesting commentary. Taken together with the other new studio tracks this would have made a decent EP, but Revolverlution suffers from trying to be too many things at once. (Koch)