Can music – alone – change the world? This is a question best suited for an artist like Raymond “Boots” Riley. And his answer would most likely be no… Surely, if any political hip-hop group could have incited global change by now, it would have been The Coup. Not for lack of trying, October 30th, 2012 saw the dawn of their newest release, “Sorry To Bother You,” and in keeping with their past work, the album channels and exudes a revved up and revolutionary sound — put alongside a funky, fun and spirited party beat! As ever, they tackle a difficult and controversial subject matter. It’ll be a challenge for most anyone to fight the urge to bop their heads, however, in favor of picking up and starting a revolution. Taking on corporate America and the greedy 1% armed with kazoos and wash-boards is certainly creative, but effective? I guess we’ll see.
Boots’ wit, timing and the fusion of punk inspired rhythms with just a hint of the more funkedelic side of Motown in the 60’s are some of the high-points of “Sorry To Bother You.” What really stood out is a peculiar sort of fusion, sounding something like cheer-happy pop songstress, Gwen Stefani meets former experimental rock group, Ween – an unlikely, intriguing and eclectic mix you won’t want to skip over in “My Murder, My Love”.
Where the album disappoints is a lack of consistency. You may be left hungry for the same adrenaline pumping ingenuity that begins after the first “Magic Clap” of track 1. The momentum of the music slowly fizzles out between gems like “Strange Arithmetic”, an urban take on the same philosophy behind Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall,” and “Guillotine”, an anthem for the other 99%. “Sorry To Bother You” makes you think, makes you move, and makes you want to party, hard. For those reasons it is successful.