Many of the guest appearances on Big Boi's second solo album -- his third if you count Speakerboxxx -- were not expected. A chance encounter with Phantogram, facilitated by a music identification application, led to three of these songs. On "CPU," Phantogram fashion their hazy dream pop into low-wattage EDM. The MC likewise sounds more like the guest on the loopy Wavves collaboration "Shoes for Running." Consecutive tracks with Little Dragon fare better. The creeping "Thom Pettie," in which Big Boi is the dominant voice, is a highlight, while "Mama Told Me," co-written by the beloved Swedish hybrid group, is pleasant enough but more of a light robo-funk platform for lead singer Kelly Rowland. Big Boi adapts to the unfamiliar surroundings with little effort and often sounds comfortable. Bravest of all is "Tremendous Damage," a plaintive ballad in which Big Boi sings with deep sincerity. The more potent tracks include the blaring/booming "In the A," featuring Big Boi and T.I. in rapid-fire mode (and Ludacris in beat-over-check-cashing mode), the offhandedly boastful and Sleepy Brown-enhanced "The Thickets," and the stirring ATL-meets-Minneapolis folk-funk closer "Descending," yet another Little Dragon hook-up. ~ Andy Kellman
Rolling Stone (p.106) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Best of all is 'In the A,' an old-school, ego-fueled lyrical jag..."
Entertainment Weekly (p.71) - "On LIES, he makes like the great funk weirdos of yesteryear, plunging his purple psychedelic prose beneath creamy seas of keyboard, two-stepping funk, and indie flotsam."
CMJ - "It's the work of a confident artist, a grown man who's paid his dues, earned his place in history and now has time to play with his toys."
Billboard (p.48) - "Big Boi defines himself through creative risk, enlisting the most eyebrow-raising roster of collaborators one will likely see on a rap album this year."
Q (Magazine) (p.102) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[H]is crooned duet with Little Dragon's Yukimi Nagano on 'Descending' is a narcoleptic beauty..."