Fun Lovin' Criminals
You may be tempted, as was I, to discount FLC as a passing hip-hop novelty band who had some exposure about three years ago with a Pulp Fiction sampled ditty called "Scooby Snacks". "It was a pretty cool song," I recalled as I half-heartedly reached for the 100% disc. I was stunned to find one of the most diverse, creative and finely produced albums staring me down!
"Korean Bodega" was just starting to receive airplay when I picked up the 100% advance CD. Like "Scooby Snacks," it was catchy and radio-friendly. Had I simply relied on the "sound" that radio was promoting I might not have gotten to the REAL deal within the remaining twelve tracks of 100% .
There is so much more to the FLC experience it is almost, well, criminal, to even release a single that may "label" their sound. "Bodega" doesn't even fall in the same time zone as the edgy, rock driven "10th Street" and "Southside," whose gritty street-smarts hit hard. Yet, they are followed by the mellow, funked-up grooves of "Sugar," a tune that features a Hall & Oates sample from "One on One"! Yikes! If FLC can pull that off and still have a song as good as this, they MUST be on to something! Props are given to crooner Barry White on the funky "Love Unlimited," which proclaims "Barry White saved my life." You simply can't help getting caught up in the infectious beat of "Big Night Out" or "Back on the Block."
Fun Lovin' Criminals' infusion of jazz, hip-hop lyrics, and an old-school funk but not-afraid-to-rock attitude have made for 100% satisfaction and a release with certain staying power as one of 1999's best. If this is what 100% Columbian is all about, no wonder Juan Valdez is always smiling...
More on the band, tours, etc. at http://www.funlovincriminals.com or write 'em the old fashioned way c/o Major Music Box 585 Midtown Station, NY, NY 10018
Capitol Records, 1750 N. Vine Street, Hollywood, CA 90028-5274