Goodie Mob - Age Against The Machine

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"Age Against The Machine" serves as both a piece of experimental art and a rewarding risk in an age where established artists are fearfully playing it safe.

The last time we heard a proper studio album from Goodie Mob with the full group roster in tact was 1999’s World Party. That disjointed affair found the Atlanta collective going in opposite directions, with the seemingly disparate goals of increased visibility and catering to a fan base built with two stellar albums. In the 14 years since, Cee Lo has used Gnarls Barkley, a residency in Las Vegas, a stint on NBC’s “The Voice” and his gregarious personality as a vehicle for his eclectic tastes. T-Mo and Khujo were rechristened as The Lumberjacks, Gipp—true to his mutant moniker—popped up when and wherever he felt like it, and the less we say about 2004’s One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show the better. So where does that leave the Goodie Mob in 2013? Surprisingly, the quartet has adapted to the various changes in the industry quite well.

Organized Noize served as the unofficial fifth group members on both Soul Food and Still Standing. Fans looking for similarly produced material would do well to keep in mind that all of Cee Lo’s solo offerings have largely self-contained affairs. The lush, yet minimalist Organized Noize soundscapes have been replaced with the type of Parliament Funkadelic-inspired, Electro Funk more prominent on OutKast’s Spakerboxxx/The Love Below or the 2001 Dungeon Family compilation, Even In Darkness. While the BPM’s have been turned up, the message is still the same. It makes for an initially jarring listen that risks alienating those looking for a 2013 Soul Food, but it will stand alone as a quality album.

When Cee Lo rhymes, “I’d rather die than to not be distinguished,” on “Special Education,” it essentially serves as a mantra for the album. Despite all the futuristic synths and dissonance, the message remains the same. Race, sex, the group’s overall take on the music industry (“State Of The Art”) and especially how Goodie Mob view themselves in relation to these elements (“Pinstripes”) are all addressed in a frank but stylish manner. Most listeners will quickly forget Cee Lo was on a network television stroking a white cat named Purrfect by the time “Nexperience” rolls around and he unleashes the following diatribe:

“See I hate nigga shit / Unless it great nigga shit / See we sit around for hours, and debate nigga shit / Expendable and ignorant is what they equate niggas with / Yeah that shit sound good, but it’s making niggas sick / And is it making niggas rich / Or making niggas nigga-rich / You used to be my black queen / But now even you a nigga bitch.”

There are times where it feels as if the group is being eclectic just for the sake of it, but the jagged demeanor of Khujo and T-Mo balance out tracks such as the Disco-flavored “Ghost Of Gloria Goodchild” and the artfully twangy, “Southern Girl.” Big Rube opens the album, and Kawan Prather of Parental Advisory fame co-produced “Kolors.” Some additional Dungeon Family cameos would have been great—if for no other reason than nostalgias sake—but T.I., Janelle Monae and a cadre of producers such as YoungFyre, Caviar and The Grey Area avail themselves well.

Ultimately, the top moments on Age Against The Machine find Goodie Mob striking a perfect balance between how we remember them at their best and where they hope to take us, with the poignantly understated “Kolors” serving as the best example. Female listeners hoping for a return to “Beautiful Skin” may very well be turned off by the side-piece anthem, “Understanding.” While the candor is refreshing, and Floyd the Locsmif provides a soulful backdrop, it’s probably hard to get behind a track featuring Cee Lo rhyming, “There goes that smile, I know you tough / Plus I got a hoe underneath you to hold you up.”

It’s nearly impossible to expect a group to be capable or interested in an exact replica of material they made almost 20 years ago. And sometimes things lean far on the outlandish side when Cee Lo is left to his own devices. But for those willing to experiment, Age Against The Machine serves as both a piece of art and a rewarding risk in an age where established artists are fearfully playing it safe.


  • TRE

    Father Time is the only really good song on this album. 3/10

  • Michael

    Vicious - Always love Goodie Mob and glad they decided to make an album in a time where as it was stated, artists are afraid of trying new shit.

  • Brandon

    Dope album. Lovin the beats too.

  • titothomas

    way to comeback fellas been waiting a long time for this excellent cd to me I put them and outkast on a level like Jordan coming back to the game and you see what he did. truly have love for these guys

  • MadameZenobia

    What happened to the Goodie Mob I fell in love with? Khujo giving you dirt and country vibes, T-Mo cutting the jugular, Gipp giving you those smooth killer verses and 'lo to drive it home? This is not what I expected. I'll continue to bump Even in Darkness and Still Standing until they get their act together.

  • Jo El

    Although I'm only 7 tracks in this album is dope. Just like the review says it's all new and original material from a legendary and innovative group. The production is creative, crisp, bass heavy. I'll admit I was very worried Cee Lo would ruin this album...he didn't. And yeah, I was around to buy the first Goodie Mob album, the first day it came out...

  • Babass75

    Totally wack... but it was expected after ceelo mainstreamization

  • kingbraswell

    They need to go back to the soul food days. This is not the bizness!

  • Henny

    Damn, this album was terrible, I didn't find a single track worth listening to again, that's fucking sad!

  • Gary Da Great

    They must be deleting the shitty reviews on this site because I see nothing but positive to mediocore reviews. This was was garbage. Cee-Lo Green is GARBAGE unless he's singing the hook other rappers' songs.

  • Gary Da Great

    I'm sorry I have to speak again. I lived in ATL back in the day and loved these guys when they had the funky live bass, wah wah blue guitars and keys and funky groovy soul music in the background....Cee-Lo sang the hookds and the boys had that deep conscious shit with a positive undertone. The raps,beats and concepts on this were totally incoherent. DOUBLE BOOO!!

  • Gary Da Great

    This new album is complete nutty nonsense. If you're a Goodie Mob fan, you will hate this more than anything. They should've stayed broken up. They used to be down with Organized Noize, but this sounds more like DISorganized Nonsense. There's nothing funky soulful or enjoyable on it. You can't ride to it or groove to it. Thank god you can review music online before buying these days. Just think off all the hungry children that could have been fed off the studio budget alone....BOOOO!!!

  • Anonymous

    album is a dissapointment!

  • Willie


  • Ash

    Mostly pop sh*t from what I can hear (only listened to samples a few times on Amazon though). Production not hip hop enough for me. A brave effort to differentiate for sure, and interesting to hear for that. But, if you aren't feeling the mainstream pop vibe (tracks 'Amy' and 'Power' sum things up for me), then don't waste your cash. 'I'm set' has a raw feel, but I'm far happier listening to Killer Mike and El-P's 'Run the Jewels' for a taste of something to contrast against Bishop, Kendrick, Joey et al. Too many poptastic produced tracks - makes Hieroglyphics 'The Kitchen' feel raw by comparison.

    • 200491733

      Sorry fam this is FAR from a pop album. I actually slept on this and had no intentions on checking this out and hearing old man struggle rap but I was pleasantly surprised by this one.


    Great album i liked every song but found that some had alot more replay value then others stand out tracks....father time the both of me amy special education valleujuh im set and state of the art radio killer ....DO A REVIEW OF KEVIN GATES STRANGER THEN FICTION

  • MIDIMarc

    Finally, a review given by someone who in my opinion "Gets it". I didn't cop this album expecting to hear a group trying to sound the same as they did in 1995. I wanted to hear 2013 Goodie Mob and thats what I got....I enjoyed all the production

  • Hyrule

    One of those albums that you wish there was more tracks at the end of it. But the most impacting thing about this album is not found on the album , its found on an interview about the album. The reason for getting back together stated by Cee Lo. " to bring balance" To me the reason behind something is equally if not more important than action a lot of times.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like Another shitty Cee Lo album with added GM verses Blah

  • TJ

    After listening several times to this album and getting in tune with GMoB being back as a full group, I realized what they did. This album does what OutKast did with Speaker Box/Love Below, only the material is all on one disc. They made a new modern fusion album that fits the age. The right amount of Rhyming and Rhythm. Egos aside they all emceed to the fullest, but to keep in those Cee-Lo Green stans they let The singing dance anthems flow and its all soulful. To put it short they used what they started with and merged it with what they learned and as a group & they will all benefit, especially with the tour coming up. Next album slightly reduce the Euro-dance vibe and increase the soulful anthems.

  • Anonymous

    this shit is pretty good

  • McGreezy

    Nice review. Very appreciative of the crew thinking outside of the box...there were a couple of times where they missed the mark but I couldn't help but want more Dungeon Family appearances and Organized Noize production. Definitely not their best work but easily trumps "World Party," their last proper release as a group.

  • Jorge

    Nothing but respect for them, keep the funk alive

  • YaboyBigTree

    THis album is worhty of 4 1/2 stars to be honest. Before listening to this album I listened to the Dungeon Family's "Even in Darkness." For those who don't know Dungeon family is; Organized Noize, Rico Wade, Sleepy Brown, Ray Murray, Big Boi, Andr 3000, Mr. DJ, Goodie Mob, Big Gipp, T-Mo, Cee-Lo Green, Khujo, Mello, K.P., Big Reese, T-Mo, Khujo ad more. This album definitely stay true to the dungeon family charisma and I can't skip one song over. Be sure to listen to "Special Education", "You Don't Know What You Got", "Pinstripes", and "I'm Set."

  • Anonymous

    This is a good album worthy of 4 stars compared to the others that released the same day probably one of the best aside from Krizz kaliko

  • Braxton Foster

    The G Mo B is back y'all better get that CD these men have a message and sonething to say. If you go back and listen to previous albums there music has a purpose need to be heard. Music is more than just having swag and dance around like a monkey "One Monkey Don't Stop no Show" but they are back and I'm ready to listen and bump this in my car. " The Lord has spoken through me and the Goodie Mo B" CeeLo Soul Food Album

  • Anonymous

    this is what i was afraid of, a cee-lo green featuring goodie mob album.. i understand they're trying to push the envelope or whatever, but it's gotta sound great and cohesive.. this album just sounded like a mess.. only cee-lo works well with this type of production, the others not so much.. very disappointed, back to soul food and still standing for me..

  • K P

    i been waiting on goodie mo new cd to drop,been down with these boys since good bag

  • Freedom of Speech

    Gucci Mane sucks doggie dick.

  • stabler420

    It's an ok album. It would have been a great album minus the weird production. Doesn't have a true southern feel to me. Just mostly futuristic. That's just my opinion. Don't like the production.

  • DEEZmuthfuccinNUTZ

    Not really the typical Goodie Mob album, but not bad at all. I wasn't really feeling "Amy". For some odd reason, it sounded like "Fuck You" part 2

  • E COMB

    Comments from Canada, fantastic, classic, etc.

  • Anonymous

    DIRTY SOUTH Waiting a long time from SUDBURY ONTARIO CAN. the beginning, please don't let this new age south shit takeover. Goodie Mob/Dungeon Fam. forever!

  • Frankie O

    Is this seriously considered cutting edge? Boring album in my opinion.

  • Sandino

    Something that's not along the lines of today's music. They are providing the same messages in this album that thy have always been stressing. Why the same topics you say? The times have never change, ignorance is the cause of our downfall. How can you be against such a timeless testament that has the cause of our downfall in it. Yet, with how to change for the better.

  • Causa1ity

    Horrible album, I don't care what anyone says. This is some Knarls Barkley sh*t with guest spots from Goodie Mob members. Atrocious album and I deleted ALL songs rather than keep this weak ass excuse for a Goodie Mob reunion album. Disgusting, period.

  • Har-magedon, G.O.D.

    Lyrics, Beats. Welcome Back.

  • Gregillous

    I really enjoyed this album. The fact that these guys can experiment with other sounds and still sound outstanding to me is an amazing feat!

  • micah dancy

    Goodie Mob album is damn near a classic in my opinion because its growing on listen after listen great album you have to depict it more on each listen they always push the envelope which i think more artist should do instead of rapping on the same beats and talk about the same thing over and over like Andre 3000 said we have to be daring instead of being like every one else

  • Bert

    I hope it grows on me. I'm staying with it right now, but I think I just got too damn excited after Fight 2 Win. The anticipation for this was nearly unbearable. Goodie Mob is one of the greatest ever on the strength of Soul Food and Still Standing alone.

  • Terrace Fartin

    Spot on review!