Album Reviews



Scorpion  Hear it Now

RS: 3of 5 Stars Average User Rating: 4.5of 5 Stars


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When Eve rode in on the late-Nineties wave of female rappers, she brought with her an unselfconscious potty mouth, a tomboy's briskness and a sexpot's confidence. What she never had was real flow - her rapping is clear and unexciting. But her very straightforwardness was an asset so long as Eve positioned herself as an uncoquettish girl in Boystown, swaggering about with the Ruff Ryders posse and, not incidentally, reigning as its most commercially successful member, after DMX.

Eve's second album, Scorpion, finds her mired in the sound of her heyday, still talking tough and inviting all her friends to step up for this sixteen-track party and rave about how great the hostess is. All of the elaborate tricks of gold-dripping hip-hop boast records are in place - from song intros posing as phone calls ("3 Way," which leads into the disgusted plaint, "You Had Me, You Lost Me") to Dr. Dre's patented stalking beats (adding menace to the otherwise unconvincing threat of "That's What It Is") to the endless old-school sass with no point deeper than striking a pose.

Scorpion feels plushly appointed by emotional emptiness - legions of smart-mouthed females and their hard-rooting dawgs shout in the background, guest stars number in the dozens, and the bragging rhymes that inflate in extravagance over the course of the record carry distinctly diminishing returns. On about half the cuts, Eve sits back and allows her featured guests to take over completely. This ploy might make for an interesting mix if either the huge roster of producers or Eve herself had managed to exploit the walk-ons' uniqueness - DMX, Mo'nique, Gwen Stefani, Drag-On and Styles of the Lox all make undistinguished cameos. Only Teena Marie's powerful wail on "Life Is So Hard" and the melodic dance-hall sway of "No, No, No," featuring Damian and Stephen Marley, rise above the tired boasting, skittering beats and self-indulgent furbelows of a pretty good hip-hop album from 1998.(RS 865)


(Posted: Mar 5, 2001)


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