“Hey Ya!” was probably the worst thing that could’ve happened to OutKast.The mega-enormo 2003 single catapulted the Atlanta duo’ Andre 3000 and Big Boi’ from avant hip-hopsters creating intense masterpieces to a mainstream pop act; in short, a pair of artists once comfortably under the radar were now undone by their own ambitious achievement. “Idlewild,” the first proper album from the pair since the stunning “The Love Below/Speakerboxxx” affair, is as frustrating, uneven and strained as one would expect a project repeatedly pushed back since mid-2005. The lowlights (“A Bad Note,” “Peaches”) often overwhelm the scant highlights (“Morris Brown,” “Hollywood Divorce”), but the troublesome element plaguing “Idlewild” isn’t something that necessarily can be fixed by scrapping release dates or re-editing songs.
“Idlewild” is ostensibly a soundtrack but feels more like a clip job, two men whose professional relationship is quickly disintegrating but who must maintain an united front.
– Preston Jones