311, the eclectic musical quintet whose unique and hypnotic blend of reggae, funk, hard rock and hip-hop reached a world audience with the success of their self-titled 1995 album, return with Transistor, their fourth release for Capricorn Records and their most fully realized and ambitious recording yet. It's a heady blend of styles that makes the amalgam that is 311 work so wonderfully, and as guitarist-vocalist Nick Hexum has said, "Transistor is our way of saying that all living things are connected, that we are all conductors of electricity -- that we're all part of the same massive energy source and in this way, we're all equal." Tracks like the mesmerizing dub cut of "Inner Light Spectrum," the funk of "No Control," the hip-hop flavor of "The Continuous Life," and the almost brutal soundscape of "What Was I Thinking?" (complete with walkie-talkie vocal sounds) showcase the band's love for diverse musical styles and their ability to blend them together into something new, fresh, and compelling. Out of respect for their fan base, the group manage to cram all 21 songs onto one compact disc, saving their mavens a little loose change left over for T-shirts, stickers, and posters, all advertised on the inside.
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AllMusic Review by Cub Koda