STD Issue 45

It’s the end of an era. No, not for the STD crew (or your favorite review section, we love you guys too much to call it quits). The once famed, and feared, Death Row Records was recently sold for $24 million to Global Music Group. Amid debt and scandal (but mostly debt) music “impresario” Suge Knight had to say bye bye to the house that re-birthed west coast gangsta rap. If that wasn’t enough bad news, we hear Suge—unable to rebound from the loss—now works as the head of security at the happiest place on earth – Disneyland. Now that’s gangsta.

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Tech N9ne
Killer

RATING:

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” has to be one of the most overused and cliché sayings in the English language, but it’s so necessary when the subject is Tech N9ne. Don’t let the red hair and face paint (neither of which he sports on this album cover) fool you. Dude can spit. One of the more technically-sound rappers in the game, Tech shines lyrically throughout the 32-track, double disc set and it never gets old as he speaks on everything from his animosity towards Jay-Z for not adding him to the Roc-A-Fella roster (“Why You Aint Call Me”) to his fondness of fellacio (“Seven Words”). The guest list is a bit heavy and weighs the album down at times, but after hearing Tech spit this hard, he deserves to take a few bars off.

– A. Hugh Leonard

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Three 6 Mafia
Last 2 Walk

RATING:

In recent years the size of Three 6 Mafia’s group has dwindled faster than a family on Oregon Trail. Yet, the lone remaining members, DJ Paul and Juicy J, have avoided the snake bites, dysentery and mountain fever to produce their best work since the group was at full force (2000’s When The Smoke Clears: Sixty 6 Sixty 1). What’s refreshing about this disc is that DJ Paul and Juicy J take a few chances and stray away from their comfort zone of drugs, alcohol and violence. Sometimes the results are surprisingly good (“My Own Way” with Good Charlotte) and sometimes…not so much (“Lolli Lolli”). Production has never been a problem for the Memphis clique and this album is no exception as they crank out a very respectable effort. Maybe on the next album they can add some more members—or at least change their name. Who has ever heard of a two-man “mafia”?

– A. Hugh Leonard

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Girl Talk
Feed The Animals

RATING:

If you heard it in the club this year, it’s here. If you heard it on classic rock radio, it’s here. If you heard it on a music blog, it’s here. And it’s all here at once. It’s the musical equivalent of the Sgt. Pepper’s album cover. It’s been released Radiohead-style, so you can pay what you want. I want to pay 20 bucks, but I also want to get my drink on this weekend…so I’ll pay nothing. But the important thing is that I want to pay 20 bucks for it. I’ll drink to that, this weekend and for the rest of the summer.

– Kevin Doran

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Motley Crue
Saint Of Los Angeles

RATING:

If –instead of sitting you on his lap and telling you old war stories—your grandfather recorded a rock album, this is what that album would sound like. That is, if your grandfather’s war stories were about doing junk and blow, banging chicks of questionable morals and shouting out hair metal anthems. Your grandfather’s still got a few bullets left, but mostly, he’s a guy who’s burned out after years of doing junk and blow, banging chicks of questionable morals and shouting out hair metal anthems. He’s over the hill, but he’s your grandpa, you know? You gotta love him.

– Kevin Doran

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Chante Moore
Love The Woman

RATING:

With the market flooded with sub-par singers that sound like their voices are eternally damned to sixth grade, one could easily forgot what a vocalist with range sounds like. Sixteen years after the release of her debut, Precious, Moore offers her fifth solo effort, Love The Woman. The good news: The voice is still there. The not-so-good news: While it’s not a particularly bad album, nothing really sticks in your head. For much of her career, Chante has been plagued with material that doesn’t fully compliment her noted talent. Here’s to hoping she considers doing a covers album. I’ll love her for it.

– Michael Arceneaux

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Dwele
Sketches Of A Man

RATING:

I wanted to like the album, but mid-way, I fell asleep. By the time I woke back up to backtrack, I noticed that I hadn’t missed much. Dwele’s a solid singer, and his noted smooth style of vocal delivery has served him well in previous works. It still works for him on for certain tracks on Sketches of a Man, like “Open Your Eyes,” but for the most part, not so much this time around. The album’s blandness does little to move you. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get back to that nap. Wake me when Maxwell’s back.

– Michael Arceneaux

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