Idlewild is a disappointment when compared with OutKast's Speakerboxx/The Love Below double-header. But it's also an entirely different animal -- a soundtrack yoked to the like-titled film's strained attempt to transplant hip-hop to the 1930s. Given this unwieldy concept, André and Big Boi deserve a few props for producing an intermittently enjoyable platter rather than a flat-out disaster.
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With a few exceptions (including the catchy nugget "Idlewild Blue"), throwback elements cause the most problems. The Cab Calloway allusions in "Mighty ŒO'" make André seem like a mini-moocher, and the collision of vintage crooning and guest spots by Lil' Wayne and Snoop Dogg turns "Hollywood Divorce" into something every bit as messy as a real-life celebrity bust-up. Yet "Peaches" works up a subtly funky groove, and "Makes No Sense at All" scores points for sheer honesty thanks to a hook that asks, "How in the hell do we get ourselves in these situations?"
The answer is ambition, and that's a good thing. But while the OutKasters certainly haven't been idle, the results fall short of wild.