Goodie Mob | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Goodie Mob 

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Outkast, Witchdoctor, and Goodie Mob haven't just put Atlanta (ATL in the parlance) on the hip-hop map--they've turned it into a hip-hop capital. And so far, Goodie Mob's recently released second album, Still Standing (La Face), is the scene's Washington Monument. On its 1995 debut, Soul Food, the foursome showcased a mix of countrified drawls, doo-wop harmonies, live instrumentation, and positive, intelligent content; the follow-up positions the group as hip-hop's answer to Parliament-Funkadelic. The lazy drawls and smooth harmonies remain, but they're swirled in with sputtering drum 'n' bass, hard-rock guitar, and hard soul. Village Voice critic Greg Tate has described Cee-Lo's delivery as "hyperbolic jackleg preacher flow," and indeed, a goodwill-wishing, sanctified spirit weighs heavy on his words--the harebrained conspiracy theories on Soul Food and homophobia on the new album's "Fly Away" excepted. "Beautiful Skin" is a plea to respect women, "Gutta Butta" posits keeping the neighborhood clean as a symbol of self-respect, and "Distant Wilderness" is a more sweeping appeal to common sense, as Cee-Lo evangelizes, "Ain't gonna be no revolution without the women and no future without the children and no children without the men / And you can't love without the trust / And no trust can come without communication / And you can't communicate if you ain't got shit to say." Goodie Mob's reputable live gigs usually feature a bona fide band. Headliners the Roots, too, use real instrumentalists, and with a new album due later this year the Philly group will probably preview new material. Monday, 9 PM, House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn; 312-527-2583 or 312-923-2000. PETER MARGASAK

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photo.

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