Written for the 1998 Village Voice Pazz & Jop Poll
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It’s a neat trick, of course, to trade upon your bad-boy past while at the same time disavowing it, and, of course, the Beasties aren’t the first smart assholes to do it. But unlike a lot of former bad boys, they haven’t musically mellowed any either. And they continue the “everything goes” musicality that has marked their entire career. Sure, they’re mature enough now to admit that they don’t have all of the answers, like on the unprecedented “I Don’t Know,” but that’s a plus, especially considering how much they thought they knew back in the day.
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