Beastie Boys To the 5 Boroughs (Capitol) With the likes of 50 Cent selling his soles to Reebok and the legions of whiney nu-metal 'Limp Linkins' dragging rap through misery mansion, hip-hop needed a Beasties comeback like Donald Trump needs a new wigmaker. 'S***'s getting duller and duller, and that's a fact,' they declare. To the 5 Boroughs is a return to the boiled-down meaty beats of yore, its monochrome cover art (defiantly portraying the twin towers still standing) matching the monochrome musical outlook. While retaining the manic, kinetic cross-referencing of Paul's Boutique and Ill Communication, the Beasties mark their spiritual return home to Manhattan with off-the-cuff lyrics and stripped-down, old school turntablism courtesy of MixMasterMike. Opener Ch-Check It Out blasts out of the traps with back-to-basics abandon. While Hey F*** You is pure fun ('So put a quarter in your ass 'cause you played yourself'). With 9/11 very much in mind, An Open Letter to NYC celebrates the city that made them, although the increasing tendency to sprinkle politics into the mix doesn't always sit well amid the stoner shout-outs to 'bitin' MCs' and deli snacks. Now in their 40s, age has brought wisdom and a reversal from their Licensed to Ill days, as they declare 'we're gonna party for the right to fight', and there's still room for genius turns of phrase. A major point of concern is the health of Mike D, who looks skeletal compared to the chubby-cheeked mayhem-maker of a decade ago.