Beastie Boys, "Hot Sauce Committee Part Two"

The Beastie Boys' latest release, "Hot Sauce Committee Part Two," arrives at a precarious time for the group, and not just because it was released before "Hot Sauce Committee Part One." Due to Adam "MCA" Yauch's 2009 cancer surgery, the album was pushed back nearly two years and promotion for "Hot Sauce" has been muted. Still, the Beasties have impressively emerged with something of an antithesis to 2004's "To the 5 Boroughs." While that post-9/11 set had a fantastic first single ("Ch-Check It Out") and nothing else close to its level, the group's latest lacks a standout track but is a consistent hodgepodge of slimy beats and no-nonsense rhyming. Nas and Santigold lend solid guest spots to the songs "Too Many Rappers" and "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win," respectively. But the Beastie Boys are more at home tossing off cheeky one-liners on tracks like "Say It" and "Long Burn the Fire." Most encouragingly, MCA sounds hungrier than ever, boding well for the still unfinished "Hot Sauce Committee Part One" and the Beasties' future.