By Ernest Wilkins, @ernestwilkins
RedEye Sound Board
1:44 PM CDT, April 14, 2014
**1/2 (out of four)
Fans of "Paul's Boutique"-era Beastie Boys, Fatboy Slim and, yes, disco, step right up: A-Trak, Kanye's former DJ who co-founded Fool's Gold Records (Danny Brown, Chromeo, Kid Sister), and Armand Van Helden (the legendary DJ who has done remixes for Britney Spears, Daft Punk, countless others) have finally delivered "Quack." It's the duo's first full-length album since partnering as Duck Sauce in 2010, and the record makes a good attempt to celebrate many different, danceable sounds.
"Everyone" sounds like a long-lost hit from a member of the Jackson family--we're talking second-tier Jackson here; Jermaine maybe?--and "Ring Me" sounds like a B-side on an ABBA record. You'll also remember classic '90s NYC rap albums from the likes of Capone-N-Noreaga or the Beatnuts during the call-and-response style of "Charlie Chazz & Rappin' Ralph" and the random skits scattered throughout "Quack." In one of them, comedian The Fat Jew makes a prank call that would make the Jerky Boys proud.
While Duck Sauce's proper debut has a lot of new stuff happening, too much has stayed the same. "Barbra Streisand" and "aNYway" have been available for purchase for more than three years! "It's You" is nearly one year-old. Including these tracks is an obvious but lazy attempt to bolster the album with established hits. Some may not mind that they've already heard three out of a new album's 12 songs over and over again, but their appearance decreases the sweaty disc's freshness and cheapens the payoff of a repeat "Quack" experience.
Given that many major dance music acts don't create proper albums for release, focusing instead on pushing singles and remixes, it remains notable that Duck Sauce has crafted a solid album of truly dance-worthy tracks. "Quack" also takes a subtler approach than the usual colon-loosening bass of modern EDM. It knows how to set the groove.
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