Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Idlewild (Outkast album)

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August 22, 2006




Release date
22 August 2006

LaFace Records

Idlewild (Outkast album) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaenthumb8

André 3000 (also exec.), Big Boi (also exec.), Chuck Lightning, Janelle Monáe, Jeminesse Smith, Kevin Kendricks, Nate "Rocket" Wonder, Mr. DJ, Organized Noize, Whild Peach

Hip hop music, Soul music, Pop music

OutKast albums, Hip hop music albums

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Idlewild is the sixth studio album by American hip hop duo OutKast. It was released on August 22, 2006, by LaFace Records and served as the soundtrack album to the duo's musical film of the same name, which was released that same month. Containing themes relating to the music industry, the album also featured songs not included in the film while incorporating jazz, blues, swing, and soul styles in its music.


The album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 196,000 copies in its first week. It achieved minimal international charting and produced five singles that attained moderate Billboard chart success. Despite mixed criticism towards its unconventional musical style and loose thematic structure, Idlewild received positive reviews from most music critics upon its release. The album has been certified platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipments of one million copies in the United States.

Idlewild intro


Though less a soundtrack and more of a companion album, the Idlewild album features seven songs from the Idlewild film: "Chronomentrophobia", "Makes No Sense at All", "PJ and Rooster", "Greatest Show on Earth", "When I Look in Your Eyes", and, from the end credits, "Morris Brown". Two snippets of film dialogue are also included on the album as interludes. The rest of the songs performed in the film were included on the earlier OutKast LPs Big Boi and Dre Present...Outkast and Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. In an interview for Billboard, Big Boi stated "This is an OutKast album. It isn't like a soundtrack where we go get this person or that person".

According to PopMatters critic Tim O'Neil, Idlewild's music was "not merely contemporary hip-hop, but a unique hybridization of modern hip-hop with vintage big-band jazz and Delta blues." Jess Harvell from Pitchfork observed imitations of hot jazz and jump blues songs throughout the record, while New York Post writer Dan Aquilante said the album mixed hip hop, jazz, blues, swing, and soul music, as OutKast "chronicled African American musical history with original tunes that transcend race and time".

Release and reception

Idlewild's release was delayed several times in 2005 before being released in 2006. In its first week, the album charted at number two on the Billboard 200 and sold 196,000 copies in the United States. On August 26, 2006, it was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, having shipped one million copies in the US. In Canada, it was certified gold by the Canadian Recording Industry Association.

Idlewild received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 72, based on 30 reviews. Q called it "a dazzling album", while Ben Williams of New York found it "entertaining and surprisingly consistent". The Guardian's Alexis Petridis wrote that it "bulges with brilliant ideas... Ambitious but flawed, at turns stunning, maddening and confusing". Rob Sheffield from Rolling Stone compared Idlewild to Prince's Parade (1986), while praising its "deeply eccentric richness" and calling it "so suave on the surface, it takes a few spins to absorb how radical it is". Although she felt it lacked cohesion and a "clear message", Ann Powers of the Los Angeles Times found the album "sonically challenging and lyrically wide-ranging", including songs for "contemplation and booty-shaking". Writing for MSN Music, Robert Christgau called Idlewild "a joyous mishmash" and praised each OutKast-member's distinct performance: "from the mainstream hip-hop Big Boi articulates with so much muscle to the retro swing Andre sings just fine, they sound happy to parade their mastery". Uncut described it as "Stylish and substantial, it's a deft masterpastiche that dissolves history for its own entertainment". Mojo stated, "Every time you think you've got Idlewild figured out, it zips off in a totally unexpected new direction".

According to NME critic Dan Martin, other critics might have found Idlewild to be "a bit long and uneven and self-indulgent". In a negative review for the Chicago Sun-Times, Jim DeRogatis viewed the album as unfocused and stated, "it's all about heavy-handed, faux Scott Joplin ragtime piano; showy but lame Cab Calloway horn arrangements; fake Rudy Vallee crooning (courtesy of Benjamin's nasal, off-key whine) and ultra-hammy vaudeville shucking and jiving". The Washington Post's J. Freedom du Lac noted a "creative schism" in the duo and wrote, "For all of its flashes of greatness -- the brassy marching-band rap of 'Morris Brown', the psychedelic hip-hop flashback 'Train', the Stevie Wonder-inspired acoustic blues number 'Idlewild Blue (Don'tchu Worry 'Bout Me)' -- the staggeringly eclectic 'Idlewild' includes too much filler and too many outright stink bombs to deserve a place alongside the best pop offerings of 2006, let alone 'Aquemini', et al". Preston Jones from Slant Magazine called it "frustrating, uneven, and strained ... an interesting failure". Spin magazine's Charles Aaron called it "a perplexing album", despite how it "grasps for a distinctive sound, departing almost entirely from rap per se" in favor of music from "the jazz/jump blues from the film's '30s/40's demimonde, as well as shades of Prince's most fitfully eclectic periods".

Track listing

Writing and production credits for Idlewild adapted from

  • In the album booklet, the producer for "A Bad Note" is listed as Johnny Vulture, which actually stands as a nickname for André 3000.
  • Sample Credits
  • "Mighty 'O" contains a portion of the composition "Minnie the Moocher" - written by Cab Calloway, Clarence Gaskill and Irving Mills - as performed by Cab Calloway.
  • "Peaches" contains a sample from "Cuss Words" as performed by Too Short.
  • "The Train", "Call the Law", "Buggface" and "PJ & Rooster" contain dialogue from the film Idlewild.
  • Personnel

    Credits for Idlewild adapted from Allmusic.


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    Idlewild (Outkast album) Wikipedia

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