Reverend Run is blessed with the gift of rhyme, but his album is not a blessing to the ears. One is punished for listening, being subjected to boring verses, often-soggy production and lame hooks. Run's rhyme delivery is still top notch though, but one would expect nothing less from this icon who was one-third of Run DMC. He is still aggressive and skillful in his vocal presentation, but songs like "Boom Ditty" and "High and Mighty Joe" are insults to his legacy.
Royce Da 5'9"
In terms of lyrical and delivery ability, Royce Da 5'9" is like a 2035 Dodge Viper that can also fly. Yet, his albums are like a 1987 Chevy Sprint with bald tires. That problem holds true on this, his 5 th release. He remains mostly reliable when looking for a hot verse per song. He has styles-upon-the-half, displaying many different rhyme techniques to match the array of production styles that provide his music. But the number of bad songs kills this album. Royce does manage to shine completely on "I Owe You," "Politics" and "Yeah."
Not since the phenomenal Fantastic Volume 2 has Detroit's Slum Village offered such a complete, creative and overall dope album. Aside from the completely unfunny and pointless skit "1-800-S-L-U-M," this album can pretty much be played straight through. The legacy of this group was questioned when two key members departed for solo efforts, but the remaining two, T3 and Elzhi, make numerous songs worth repeating. BR Gunna handles the majority of the production on this album. The tracks are solid throughout. The Roots-like track "05" that features live instrumentation by BR Gunna and DJ Dez is a must play. The stylish lyrical skill display on "1,2" in mind numbing, while the sheer slump and bounce of tracks like "Multiply," "Set It" and "Fantastic" warrant immediate volume boosting.
Confessions On A Dance Floor
The evolution of Madonna goes dancing on her new album. A welcome change from current popular music, this album is all dance tracks. The production is typical techno music, which quickly gets repetitive.
Madonna keeps the lyrics simple throughout, the majority are not very creative. An example can be found on "I Love New York" where Madonna sings, "I don't like cities, but I like New York/Other places, make me feel like a dork." She does find a spark on "Jump," "How High" and "Hung Up," the albums three best tracks.
"Confessions On A Dance Floor" will get the party or rave jumping because it inspires movement, great for Aerobics. Non-active listening of this may put you to sleep.
Mail press and album review material to - Joe Walker, PO Box 1375, East Lansing, MI, 48826-1375 (517) 914-6976.