It would be churlish to complain that there isn’t any Andre 3000 on Big Boi’s first solo album—not counting Speakerboxxx, his half of OutKast’s 2003 double-CD—if Big weren’t making that complaint himself. Jive, OutKast’s label, blocked the superb Andre features “Royal Flush” and “Lookin’ For Ya” from appearing on Sir Lucious Left Foot, even though the former leaked two years ago, and the latter somehow leaked just a couple of weeks before the album’s release. Gee, wonder who did that? Hint: Big Boi told GQ, “I’m no stranger to that Internet, baby… The thirst of the fans will be quenched,” the same day the track appeared online.
Even better, the album doesn’t suffer too appreciably from Andre’s absence. Though several of Sir Lucious Left Foot’s best tracks have been released as singles already, the whomping electro-funk of “Shutterbugg” (featuring a notably nimble Big rhyme) and the loping, lush “Shine Blockas” (with its great, semi-sung chorus from Gucci Mane) thrive in this setting: the former is neatly set up by the James Brown-ish “Follow Us,” while the latter segues smoothly into the G-funky “The Train Part II (Sir Lucious Left Foot Saves The Day).” Though his partner is absent, this sounds and feels like another OutKast experience—a welcome one.