Returning to the aggressive sound that helped thrust it into the spotlight, this seminal rap group comes off as belligerent as ever on its new album. Targeting a particular set of problems has become a PE trademark over the years, and on this set the primary adversaries are the greedy powers that be--record company owners and the government, among others--that suffocate and exploit the people who line their pockets.
The eerie "Swindlers Lust," which finds leader Chuck D abandoning his signature bombastic delivery in favor of a biting, spoken-word flow, has to be one of the most scathing critiques of the music industry ever recorded. In fact, shady record company practices are chastised in many of the collection's 14 cuts. Primary producer Tom E. Hawk assembles a chaotic mix of wailing guitars, bizarre sound effects and crashing drums that matches the intensity of Chuck and partner Flavor Flav's lightning raps.