Nothing is Quick in the Desert was originally scheduled to come out on July 4 as a free surprise download. Last weekend, news of the album leaked and earlier this week Public Enemy confirmed the album. Yesterday, Public Enemy released the album early.
Public Enemy is one of my top three bands of all time. This is based almost completely on their first four albums. It's not that anything they've released since Apocalypse 91... The Enemy Strikes Black has been bad, but I tend to listen to their newer albums once or twice, and then just go back to the classics.
Nothing is Quick in the Desert is a return to form. Maybe it's because Public Enemy have a lot to be angry about now. While their recent releases have edged into the R&B chorus trap or having references to their earlier work that seemed a bit to cutesy. Listening to a Public Enemy album shouldn't be a fully pleasant experience. Public Enemy should be a bit discordant, like the Sonic Youth of hip hop. "sPEak!" ends with the kind of noisy guitar solo that has been missing lately. That continues with "Yesterday Man," which has a distracting solo throughout the entire song. "Smash the Crowd" features a verse by Ice-T, which I'm pretty sure is their first collaboration together.
Nothing is Quick in the Desert isn't going to replace Yo! Bum Rush the Show or Fear of a Black Planet (which is my favorite album of all time). But it's a great return to Public Enemy doing what they should. Public Enemy are trailblazers. They shouldn't be trying to stay with what is current in music. They need to do what they do best, which is what they are finally back to.
You can download Nothing is Quick in the Desert for free for a limited time via Bandcamp. 2017 is Public Enemy's 30th anniversary, and they are promising a fall tour. For more on Public Enemy, check out their website.