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Album Review: What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down? by Public Enemy
Great, Based on 4 Critics
AllMusic - 80 Based on rating 8/10
Let's face it: If any year needed a new album from Public Enemy, it was 2020. Faced with disease and unrest at every turn, PE returned to their original home, Def Jam, for What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down?, a record that consciously reconnects with their past while addressing the present with a clear eye. At first, it's hard to avoid the chaos of the modern world, with Public Enemy pushing their "State of the Union (STFU)" and the existential digital quandary of the title track, but the record subtly shifts gears with "Public Enemy Number Won." Its title is a nod to "Public Enemy No.
The past 18 months have been a bizarre time to be a Public Enemy fan. The group seemed to split into pieces, with Flavor Flav dismissed for his wayward behaviour. As it turns out, though, the dismissal was merely a publicity stunt - an unusual way to get attention, but it certainly worked. The prospect of losing Public Enemy seemed to bring the group's profile back into sharp focus.
Public Enemy's 15th official studio release and first on Def Jam Recordings since 1998, What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down?, is a nostalgic trip down memory lane with tons of special guest appearances and old school flair. But, more than this, it's essentially Public Enemy trying to do what they do best — fight the power. With much of the record acting as a stunning indictment of Donald Trump's presidency, and with an election coming in November, those who oppose extreme right wing politics in the United States could see this as one of the most important recordings of 2020.
The Lowdown: 2020 has become a year of extremes. A global pandemic that will forever affect the way that we live our lives. A political climate that has created division at a level that the United States has rarely seen. And a racial divide that has reached a boiling point. During times as ….