Outkast – Idlewild - SonyBMG

Returning from the smash double-header The Love Below/Speakerboxxx, which spawned 2003 s chart overlord Hey Ya! hip-hop s most famous duo faced a big challenge. Although they ve managed to restrain themselves to just one disc this time round, it s crammed

Returning from the smash double-header The Love Below/Speakerboxxx, which spawned 2003's chart overlord Hey Ya! hip-hop's most famous duo faced a big challenge.

Although they've managed to restrain themselves to just one disc this time round, it's crammed with 25 tracks, just shy of 80 minutes long.

It's also a quasi-soundtrack to their 1930s-set movie of the same name, out next month.

It cherry-picks from blues, jazz, hip-hop, rap, soul, pop, electronica and gospel, cheekily hopping from one genre-melding set to another without so much as a by-your-leave.

Andre and Big Boi have created a disparate but, crucially, coherent album full of slick surprises, hooks and crooks.

4/5