Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age

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Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age
Studio album by Public Enemy
Released August 23, 1994
Recorded 1993–94
Genre Political Hip Hop,[1] Hardcore Hip Hop [1]
Length 74:28
Label Def Jam, PolyGram
Producer The Bomb Squad, Gary G-Wiz, Keith Shocklee, Kerwin "Sleek" Young
Public Enemy chronology
Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black
(1991)
Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age
(1994)
He Got Game
(1998)
Singles from Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age[2]
  1. "Give It Up"
    Released: July 1994
  2. "I Stand Accused"
    Released: December 1994
  3. "So Whatcha Gone Do Now"
    Released: July 1995

Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age is the fifth studio album by American hip hop group Public Enemy, released on August 23, 1994, by Def Jam Recordings. Its title is a stylization of the phrase "music in our message" (or "music and our message").[3][4] The album debuted at number 14 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling 56,000 copies in its first week.[4]

Upon its release, Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age received generally mixed to positive reviews from most music critics,[5][6] amid controversy among critics and fans over Public Enemy's relevance in hip hop at the time.[7]

Reception[edit]

Commercial performance[edit]

Due to a change of the album's release date, negative reviews from publications such as Rolling Stone and The Source were published a month prior to the album's first sales week.[4] In spite of this, Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age fared better with its first week sales of 56,000 copies than most of Public Enemy's previous albums.[4] The album quickly fell off the charts, as sales were negatively impacted by Def Jam's move from Sony to Polygram during its release.

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[8]
Chicago Tribune 3.5/4 stars[9]
Robert Christgau A−[10]
Entertainment Weekly B[11]
Los Angeles Times 2/4 stars[12]
The New York Times unfavorable[13]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[14]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[15]
Vibe favorable[16]
The Washington Post favorable[17]

According to music journalist Neil Strauss, music critics initially accused Public Enemy of "being out of touch, of launching a weak attack against the trend toward gangster rap, of writing second-rate rhymes, of producing the album poorly, of using a bad pun for the title ('music in our message') and of being too old".[4]

Spin (8/94, p. 84) - Highly Recommended - "Knee deep in the age of gangsta, at the anticlimactic millennial edge of a world already gone wrong, Public Enemy has dropped its latest."

Entertainment Weekly (8/26 - 9/2, p. 112) - "...it takes true guts to dis gangsta rap and to challenge the black community to confront its problems..." - Rating: B

Q magazine (9/94, p. 106) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "Fact is, the lay off has just made Public Enemy sound fresh again...because they've regained the wicked combination of sonic disturbance and loose, rabblerousing funk that drove classic jams like 911 is A Joke."

Alternative Press (9/94, pp. 80–81) - "Yeah, we've heard it before but Chuck can make waves even when he's treading water...MESSAGE may be PE's most consistently enjoyable disc."

Vibe (8/94, p. 105) - "...a tour de force of densely constructed music and verbiage. Snippets of Stax-Volt grooves, reggae, soul, and metal bop and weave over gut-punching bass lines and wicked drumming while front man Chuck D lets fly with...pronouncements, warnings, and accusations..."

Melody Maker (8/20/94, p. 35) - Recommended - "This LP isn't just a stunning return to form for Public Enemy, it's perhaps the most powerful horrified answer to what you are doing to black culture yet."

NME (12/24/94, p. 22) - Ranked #20 in NME's list of the `Top 50 Albums Of 1994.'

Track listing[edit]

All songs were written or co-written by members of Public Enemy, except "Godd Complexx", which was written by Jalal Mansur Nuriddin a/k/a Alafia Pudim.[18]

  1. "Whole Lotta Love Goin on in the Middle of Hell" – 3:13
  2. "Theatrical Parts" - 0:28
  3. "Give It Up" – 4:31
  4. "What Side You On?" – 4:07
  5. "Bedlam 13:13" – 4:07
  6. "Stop in the Name..." - 1:21
  7. "What Kind of Power We Got?" – 5:31
  8. "So Whatcha Gone Do Now" – 4:41
  9. "White Heaven/Black Hell" - 1:06
  10. "Race Against Time" – 3:21
  11. "They Used to Call It Dope" - 0:30
  12. "Aintnuttin Buttersong" – 4:23
  13. "Live and Undrugged, Parts 1 & 2" – 5:55
  14. "Thin Line Between Law & Rape" – 4:45
  15. "I Ain't Mad at All" – 3:25
  16. "Death of a Carjacka" - 2:00
  17. "I Stand Accused" – 3:57
  18. "Godd Complexx" – 3:40
  19. "Hitler Day" – 4:28
  20. "Harry Allen's Interactive Super Highway Phone Call to Chuck D" - 2:55
  21. "Livin in a Zoo (remix)" – 3:38

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from CD Universe.[18]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://www.allmusic.com/album/muse-sick-n-hour-mess-age-mw0000122205
  2. ^ Strong (2004), p. 1227.
  3. ^ McGovern, Gerry. "Review: Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age". Hot Press: September 21, 1994. (Transcription of original review at talk page)
  4. ^ a b c d e Strauss, Neil. The Pop Life: Public Enemy's Enemies. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2010-01-01.
  5. ^ Iwasaki, Scott. "Musical Scene Fizzed with Nostalgia, Trends". Deseret News: F3. December 15, 1994.
  6. ^ Product Page: Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age. Muze. Retrieved on 2010-01-01.
  7. ^ Considine, J.D. "Review: Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age". Chicago Sun-Times: August 28, 1994.
  8. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Review: Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2010-01-01.
  9. ^ Kot, Greg. "Review: Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age". Chicago Tribune: 8. September 1, 1994. (Transcription of original review at talk page)
  10. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Consumer Guide: Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age". The Village Voice: September 13, 1994. Archived from the original on 2010-01-01.
  11. ^ Browne, David (August 26, 1994). Review: Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2010-01-01.
  12. ^ Siegmund, Heidi. Review: Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2010-01-01.
  13. ^ Pareles, Jon. Review: Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2010-01-01.
  14. ^ Touré (July 14, 1994). "Public Enemy: Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on February 6, 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2012. 
  15. ^ Hoard, Christian (ed.). "Review: Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age": Rolling Stone. 661–662. November 2, 2004.
  16. ^ Sinclair, Tom. "Review: Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age". Vibe: 105–106. August 1994.
  17. ^ Harrington, Richard. "Review: Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age". The Washington Post: b.07. August 24, 1994. (Transcription of original review at talk page)
  18. ^ a b "Public Enemy - Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age CD Album". CD Universe. Muze. Retrieved January 5, 2013. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]