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If Renegades proves to be the last Rage Against the Machine album to feature singer Zack de la Rocha, who quit the band after nine years, it's a cool way to go out. Produced by Rick Rubin, Renegades is a salute to the artists who made Rage what they are--or were. While it's easy to hear Rage's rap roots in songs from Afrika Bambaataa, EPMD, and Volume 10, it's more interesting to see their take on rock in its classic and punk forms. Rage capture the raw spirit, if not the quite the intensity, inherent in the MC5 classic "Kick Out the Jams." A superior second live take appears at the CD's end, followed by a concert version of Cypress Hill's "How I Could Just Kill a Man," with help from B-Real and Sen Dog. Devo's "Beautiful World" is rendered quietly unrecognizable, while Minor Threat's "In My Eyes" is given a wonderfully melodic, ultra-aggro treatment. The Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man" takes on a techno vibe that's unsettling and Bob Dylan's "Maggie's Farm" is also effectively modernized. Ultimately, Renegades is a must-have for its song selection, musical execution, and the unhappy fact that it's likely the ultimate offering from one of rock's most musically and politically relevant lineups. --Katherine Turman
- very strong, but some tracks not that great
I was kind of surprised that Rage's last cd was a cover album (I became a fan after they broke up), but I think that it works very well. It is the least consistent cd that they have released, but don't be fooled; even Rage on a bad day is still mindblowing. We have got the hard rocking version of "maggies farm" and "How I could just kill a man" on here, which are album highlights. "renegades of funk" is a suitably funky and wonderful to tribute to the original by Afrikaa Bambataa. One of my favorites on here is the extremely heavy and rough "The Ghost of Tom Joad," which was an earlier staple at their few live shows. Their covers of Minor Threat and MC5 songs aren't that great and Zach is too undisciplined when singing them. Also, there are a disproportionate number of purely rap songs on this cd, which is not that great a thing. the cd is still worth your while though, and another blast of polemic fury just like their previous 3 albums and their new live cd....more info
- 4.5. Odd, but very effective cover album
Reviewing RATM pretty pointless, as how many people are there out there who are interested in them but haven't actually heard them, and it seems like most people who have heard them tend to have extremely strong opinions, good or bad, and are very unlikely to be swayed by reviews. But hey, they're one of my favorite bands, it's ridiculous that I haven't gotten around to reviewing more of their work, so I better get at it.
Cover albums tend to be an odd proposition, particularly when done by metal/hard rock bands. Lots of the time, they just replicate the original song, or take it and make it sound like their original material. RATM seem to have found a middle ground here, sometimes replicating the original sound, (In My Eyes) sometimes making it into an RATM song (Maggie's Farm), and sometimes making something new. Still, most of it comes across as alt-metal, but it frequently has a different flavor than most of their previous work. This album marks the only all-out foray into rap-metal that RATM ever underwent. Sure, RATM were rap-metal innovators, to a degree, and they had some funky groove and Morello's squealing resembled scratching, but the fact of the matter is, Zack never really rapped much on the earlier albums. (And that's not all they did, anyway also contrary to popular opinion.) He just sorta barked, for the most part, more reminiscent of a hardcore punk or thrash vocalist. Here, however, the rap covers are true rap-metal songs, with more bass and groove, less emphasis on the riffs, and actual rap vocals. And, wouldn't you know it, they work damn well. Zack always was one of my favorite vocalists, and he's particularly good here, combining his intensity with some more subtlety and smoothness.
This album is not 100% consistent, and has a few throwaway tracks, but it's interesting enough as a whole, and has strong enough standout tracks to earn high marks from me. Microphone Fiend is perhaps the best song here. It all comes together, thunderous bass-lines, great, still innovative guitar work and some great vox. This basic description applies to Pistol Grip Pump, Renegades of Funk and How I Could Just Kill a Man too, though they aren't on quite the same level.(still very good to excellent, though) I'm Housin isn't as strong. It's got nice atmosphere and a good intro, but the core song isn't that exciting. Decent, but not great. Beautiful World is simple, short and atmospheric song, which doesn't necessarily go anywhere, but it works quite well, particularly in the context of the album. In My Eyes is totally great, maintaining all the rage and intensity of the original. The Ghost of Tom Joad is a real epic, as far as RATM is concerned, with a nice slow build to the enormous, crushing chorus riff. Maggie's Farm is a nice closer, a bit more of a classic Rage track. The main riff rules, as usual, and Zack gives some particularly fierce vocals, particularly when the song really picks up. As for all the tracks I didn't even mention, well they're decent, but not that memorable. Not bad, really, but not very interesting.
- save tha best 4 last!
Well,this iz it,tha best and last RATM cd.This cd is 4 evry1,even if u dont like RATM,u'll like this cd.Herz tha mor helpful part uv tha review:
Microphone fiend:I dont get this song.Its a rock song about rap.Gud song,though.9/10
Pistol grip pump:On evry RATM cd,therz 1 song thatz so bad,it cud b tha hul reason tha cd haz a "parental advisory" sticker on it.This is it 4 this cd.Not a gud song,eithier.6/10
Kick out the jams:AWSOME GITR!Tom Morello iz mastr uv gitr!10/10
Renagades of funk:Sweet song!Gud bass,drumz,vocalz and gitr in this song.10/10
Beautiful world:This iz tha worst song ever!I just hat it!!1/10
Im housin:Gud song.Nothing special.5/10
In my eyes:Just like Im housin,nothing gud.5/10
How i could just kill a man:Gud vocalz and gitr!This iz tha best song!10/10
The ghost of tom joad:a little crep-e,but not 2 gud.5/10
Down on the street:OK song,i guess i like it.7/10
Street fighting man:B-sidz how i cud just kill a man,this iz tha best song!10/10
Maggies farm:Crep-e but rel-e gud song.10/10
And ther r 2 liv hid-n trakz,kick out tha jamz(3/10)and how i cud just kill a man(10/10). Go 2 a cd stor and this cd!...more info
- What a way to go out - a cover album? Brilliant
Needless to say, these "covers" sound nothing like the originals. Compare this "Street Fighting Man" with the Stones' - nothing alike. Except, of course, lyrically. Zack delivers everything brilliantly, individualizing it so thoroughly that it never sounds like anything other than Rage. Tom Morello has lots of fun, but I don't think he solos enough... A lot of the covers open up different possibilities for Rage. "Beautiful World", originally by Devo, is stripped down to only Zack's voice, Tom's simple, clean guitar, and occasional whooshing effects that sound like phasing. Zack actually takes it upon himself to sing here, revealing a very raspy, but compelling whisper. The utter alienation that is made clear by the end of "Beautiful World" shows that Rage could have started exploring different ideas for another album, and it would have succeeded. But no... oh well, just listen to "How I Could Just Kill A Man" (which still sizzles, in anyone's hands) and bang your head to the glory of Rage....more info
- The most original "cover" album i've ever heard.
I do not agree with Rage's message in trying to take down the government but I LOVE their music. Tom Morello is a genius on the guitar, Brad Wilk is an amazing drummer, and Zach is a singer full of pure energy.
I grew up listening to RATM and even though I do not agree with all of their political views I still admire their music. This album is absolutely great, I understand most songs on this album are about a political view [Kick out the Jams, Ghost of Tom Joad, Streeting Fighting Man, Maggies Farm] but tying that in with other songs like [Microphone Fiend, Down on the Street, Pistol Grip Pump] is just brilliant. Listen to the original recording of one of these songs and then listen to RATM's cover. When most of the bands in todays time cover a song it sounds exactly the same as the song they are covering, Rage puts their own unique mix on the song. I think this album is amazing....more info
- great farewell
covers are awesome, i dont care what people think, bands that cover songs are not unoriginal. by the way soad fanatic, ghost of tom joad wasnt on godzilla, no shelter was....more info
- MOLOTOV wipes the floor with r.a.t.m.
MOLOTOV is the only Real Rap/Metal Band out there that really matters,they are from Mexico but belive me they are a million times better and more raw than that electronica based mainstream "Rage against the machine".
Want proof? listen to their album "Donde jugaran las ninas" and judge for yourself....more info
- ...And So Departs One Of Best Bands In The World
I want to take this opportunity to write a few words about RATM. It is fitting that since this is their last album, to sum up their work over the years. I have all 4 albums and all I can say is "WOW" everytime I listen to their music. In a time where all rock music sounds the same, this band just created waves of tsunami proportions with their unique style. Morello's guitar skills are unsurpassed. The guy plays his guitar like a DJ with a turntable. Zack de la Rocha raps with enough fury to complement the band's fast music, and not go over the top. Brad and Tim do a fantastic job with bass and drums too. Listening to RATM is pure pleasure. Ah, well....although I am sad that these guys broke up, I am happy they went with a "BANG" rather than a whimper. RATM's music will be something you will appreciate 10,20 even 30 years down the road. ...more info
- One Of My Fav Cd's!
Wow. Rage is awesome. Their amazing miv of rap and rock still astounds me. I love every single track on the cd but my favs are How I COuld Just Kill A Man and REgegnades Of FUnk. Buy It Now!!...more info
- A Good Way To End Their Career
I must say it is far from the best Rage Against The Machine LP. However, as the title suggests, I was impressed. As it was all cover versions of other bands' tracks it wasn't the Rage we all know and love. They did make a very good and original way of covering the tracks. And can you think of a more original way of leaving us than this album. Well done, you big bucket of talent....more info
- a dying breed!
Although this album is more hip-hopish than the others it makes a great addition to the Rage legacy, Zack de la Roca is and excellent lead singer/rapper!! tom morello mastery of the guitar is excellent! good album!! a must have!!...more info
- RAGE! BABY!
This is in my opinion the best rage album. all of the songs are good, although in some it may be hard to find a meaning in others its easy like "the ghost of tom joad" and "maggies farm" they have clear and decisive meanings. the music is just mind blowing tom morello on the guitar he just rocks... there aint as much riffs on this album but it still is the best. i rate the songs now 1.microphone fiend-its a great song with a cathcy beat 2.pistol gip pump- the beginning gets annoyng but once zack starts singing its awesome 3. kick out the jams- one of my favorites a great song! sounds like it actualy took some real thought 4.renegades of funk- if this song doesnt get u motivated i dont no what will! 5.beutiful world- a little too slow for me but its still really good 6.housin- the beggining guitar is awesome! the lyrics are deep and sometimes obvisious he was just tryin to rhyme stuff 7.in my eyes- a real punk sounding song possibly my favorite 8.how i could just kill a man- a great cypress hill song some good rap 9.the ghost of tom joad- this song has alot of meaning and a good story...listen carefully 10.down on the street- some good stuff 11.street fighting man- n of the best- his voice cuts through u and the vibe is really funky 12.maggies farm- also one of the bests its totally awesome it ahs awesome guitar 13.(live)kick out the jams-better thena the studio 14.(live) how i could just kill a man- great better than the studio it has sen-dog and b-real from cypress hill
BUY THE CD...more info
- Rage Diversifies in Renegades.
Rages latest offering features cover-songs of inspirational artists. This album seemed to come out of no where after lead-man Zack De La Rocha departed with band mates Brad, Tim and Tom. After the recent release of the much anticipated, and successful Battle of Los Angels, this album seemed to be out a little too soon. After putting three records out with several years sapced between, another one just a year after Battle seemed a little suspicous. While Rage choose great artists to cover, so much diversity leads to a lack cohesion and smooth-flow between songs. While several strong songs stand out, Kick out the Jams and Maggies Farm, some sound rushed or just plain bad. Most notably, In My Eyes is the most unoriginal, uninspiring rage song to sruface to date. Beautiful world acts as a double edged sword. While a great stand alone song, and a new direction for Rage, it just does'nt fit the mood of the rest of the cd. That stand alone melodic song, and that horrible punk song, In My Eyes, mixed with all the rock and hip hop tracks creates a very unorginzed work. I loved the first three rage records, but this is not up to their high standards for producing great rock albums....more info
- falls short of high expectations
I agree that, compared to their original stuff, this pales in comparison. My first Rage CD was "The Battle of LA," and it was one of the best CDs I've ever heard. Then "Evil Empire" pleased me. But when deciding between their debute album and "Renegades," I'm sorry that I chose the latter. Don't let this CD of covers be your first Rage CD: It will not be representative....more info
- OK, but misses Rage's intense lyrics
While you won't find Rage's amazing lyrics or political fire on this, their final album, you will find something much more amazing. Rage's high-powered rock attack on the classics. The Ghost of Tom Joad. Amazing. Intense. Everything you would expect from a Rage song. There is so much fire and intensity on this album, and yet, it's often their most forgettable album. Probably because the Rage you expect to pummel you with their message, ultimately beat you into submission with their ability as musical artists. A must for any fan....more info
- Somewhat a compromising statement
When first appearing to public with the explosive track "Killing In The Name" in 1992, Rage Against The Machine seemed to be one of the most dangerous weapons in rock industry. Their stunnng debut album was a unique mix of powerful riifs and intense rapping. But then, four years of silence followed. 1996 saw Rage releasing their second album, Evil Empre, which, sadly, saw no progression, what so ever. 1998's Battle Of Los Angeles spawned few great tracks, but it was undeniablee that Rage's concept was getting a bit boring. Keeping that in mind, Zack De La Rocha's departure was not a great surprise. The band desperately needs new favour. This is the last testament of the De La Rocha-era Rage. Surely, you can hear they have gone to new territories to expand their sound, but the problem is their sound is too strong, and therefore it allows no huge experimentations. For example, "Beautiful World" shows why Zach De La Rocha chose rapping instead of singing. The most powerful songs here provide some of the explosive dynamity Rage used to have ( check out "Kick Out The Jams", the groovy "Renegades Of Funk" and "Down On The Street"), but eventually this is not among the Rage releases you want to listen to over and over again. It is interesting to see what the future brings for the band, because this album sadly proves that the sound has become too recognizable....more info
- have to say it: the recording quality is poor
I really do like this album. Especially "in my eyes". But, it's difficult to listen to due to really bad recording or mix. I'm no audiophile snob but the bass is way overdriven and it just sounds like bad equipment when I play it on any stereo in my house; the computer; or in the car. Whatever you do, don't use this CD to judge stereo equipment. It's the best example I know of a bad recording in this day and age. Let me repeat, I do like the music....more info
- rage u've done it again
this cd is soo great i love it, there are so meny amazing songs but its a same its a cover album but never the less if u are a rage fan GET THIS CD it's like a combination of evil empires and self titled, stand out tracks "pistol grip pump, micrephone fiend, renegades of funk, kick out the jams, how i can just kill a man plus tones more...more info
- RATM- Renegades CD Product problem
I really like RATM. This album would be one of the best RATM has produced to date. However, this CD is very poor in production quality. Every track on the CD is clipped. This distortion is audible on even low quality stereo equipment like PC speakers.
I gave it 3 stars for being excellent music, and it lost 2 stars for the poor production quality of the tracks. In fact, I am returning the CD until they get it right. Nobody should have to pay ... for this kind or poor quality. Epic Records and Sony Music Entertainment should re-produce this CD with the proper dynamic range for a quality sound product. I am surprised with the producer "Rick Rubin" and at the co-producers RATM for letting such a poor quality product go out into the world. Hardly representative of their talents.
It sounds like an old LP that has 1Million+ spins and the tracks are worn out. I'd personally rather hear the intentional distortion of the band and not the production distortion of the process....more info
- Disillusioned fan
How did Rage go from making milestones in music history, to making a cover album? I don't understand, and it's too bad. The way I knew rage before "Renegades" was as incredibly original, politically charged rap rock with amazing impact. Tom Morello's surgical guitar work attacks after Zach whispered "Anger is a gift," and then screamed powerfully, "FREEDOM, yea RIGHT!" That was the kick ass band I knew. In "Renegades" he spits rap cliche's more than white boys in the suburbs. Why would they ever do a cover album? They're the band making the original music. Why copy? They're the band that seemed to have a real politcal message. They're the band that critics use to describe other bands. I for one think Rage was far better off writing their own songs. This album is a distant departure from they're other amazing albums. ...more info
- Oustanding performance
This cd is the perfect blend of hip-hop/rock. Tom Morello gives his typical performance of guitars that will blow your mind and keep you thinking "How did he do that". Timmy and Brad are much improved and Zach has his electrifying vocals. Here is my breakdown of the cd.
1-Microphone Fiend- Awsome gutiars and good lyrics 8/10
2-Pistol Grip Pump- More leaning to the hip-hop side, good beat 7/10
3-Kick out the Jams- Good song, great rhythm, sure to get your foot tappin
4-Renegades of Funk- Great song, good guitars, bass, drums, and lyrics. Nice tributes to the fathers of music. 10/10
5-Beautiful World- Slow, sarcastic, and ok song I guess 6/10
6-I'm Housing- Great bass, awsome rhythm 8/10
7-In my eyes- Awsome drums, fast paced good lyrics 7/10
8-How I Could Just Kill a Man- Nice beat, more hip-hop then rock 7/10
9-The Ghost of Tom Joad-My favorite song on the album, kinda like a little story in a song, good lyrics 10/10
10-Down on the street- Nice beat, your foot will be tappin till the song is over, cool guitars 8/10
11-Street Fighting man-Awsome drums, good lyrics 9/10
12-Maggie's Farm- Anti-slavory song, good message, nice guitars 10/10
13-Kick out the Jams (live)-faster then the studio verson, different guitars in the middle 8/10
14-How I could just kill a man (live) feat cypriss hill- Good, like the origional 7/10
It's too bad Zach left, but this band accomplished A LOT. This cd is a good way to finish the Rage Against The Machine era.
I reccomend this album if you liked the first 3 or are trying something new. Overall 8.5/10...more info
- one of my personal faves
Ill start out saying that i do truly love Rage with a passion. Sure there are a few songs that don't catch on as much as others, but i do love the political meaning and the attitude behind every one of their tracks. No going soft, even when doing covers for every song in Renegades. I honestly had no idea that Bob Dylan wrote "Maggie's Farm" since they pretty much only kept the lyrics and made it one of my favorite Rage songs. Others like "Pistol Grip Pump" and "How I Could Just Kill A Man" never EVER get old to me. Now all i have to do is find a way for Rage to have a concert in Hawaii, then i'm set....more info