A friend who emailed us a few weeks ago to inform us that the Beastie Boys were releasing a new album and that it was going to be all instrumental left us conflicted. We'll admit that the instrumental portion of their last shows at the Garden were great, but we wouldn't consider them highlights, and we generally judge their last tour a high-point of our concert-going existence. A week or so later, this same friend sent us a link to a video that the Beastie Boys released on their site. The video opens in black and white, with the band wearing dark suits and ties; an electric organ starts the song. "Oh no," one might be tempted to think, the Beastie Boys have suffered a middle-aged breakdown and are reincarnating themselves as a subdued Blues Brothers. Anyone concerned that "To the 5 Boroughs" was a farewell album and that the Beastie Boys performance at MSG was some type of NYC farewell address should take comfort in that the trio is not nearly ready to go silent into that good night. That we even hesitated to doubt the born-and-bred New Yorkers leaves us embarrassed.

The one-song sample we've heard so far is phenomenal, with electric organ opening into a killer bass line accompanied by high hat with falsetto guitar and rimshots that eventually just explodes. The brilliantly witty lyrics are absent, surely, but the trio performs a studio-filling embodiment of funk that is exhilarating to the extreme. After 4mins and 55 seconds, we went from ambivalent, to the most excited we've ever been about an album release. It's on sale June 5. We just found the soundtrack for our summer.