Yet, like most trips back to the future, it's not that easy: Nearing 40 and with political consciences to salve, their unimaginative Bush-bashing on "Time to Build" and "That's It That's All" makes them sound less like yesterday's fiery young men than today's bitter old ones.
But the Beasties' trademark Noo Yawk whine remains as distinctive as any in music, and it's good to have it back. After more than a decade of looking outward -- to Los Angeles, Tibet, and beyond -- they've turned their focus back on the Big Apple. Its no-nonsense heartbeat pumps life through this album, from the spare, Rick Rubinesque brashness of "Hey Fuck You" and "Shazam!" to "An Open Letter to NYC," a moving tribute to the city that notes, "Two towers down/But you're still in the game." Somehow, so are the Beasties. -- Dan Leroy