Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors
Def Jam/Purple Ribbon
Dec 13, 2012 Web Exclusive
It must be tough to be Big Boi—OutKast looms over everything. He attempted to escape that shadow with 2010's Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, a years-in-the-making album that showed Big Boi could create great music apart from OutKast. Now Big Boi is back with a follow-up, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors.
Somewhere along the line, Big Boi discovered that indie electro-rock would fit well with his musical vision, so artists like Phantogram and Little Dragons (and Wavves?!) show up alongside UGK and A$AP Rocky. Some of the results are inspired: Little Dragon's "Descending" is a terrific ballad, and the filthy "Tom Petty" (also featuring Little Dragon) is as menacing as intended. And "CPU" is basically the best result of a Big Boi-Phantogram marriage you could imagine.
As usual with a Big Boi record, the bangers are the best tracks. "The Thickest" races along as Big Boi speeds and slows his drawl to play with the beat. "In the A" finds both T.I. and Ludacris at the top of their game, and "Mama Told Me" is an instant party classic.
Overall, though, the album feels stretched. "Lines" features Phantogram and A$AP Rocky, but both feel lost in a boring song structure. "She Hates Me" sounds like every Kid Cudi track of the last two years. And bonus track "She Said OK" is likely the most annoying—and unfunny—juvenile track ever (real lyric: "Let me see your titties/she said OK"). Vicious Lies isn't a bad album by any means, but it suffers when held up to the expectations of the past.
Author rating: 6.5/10
Average reader rating: 5/10
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