STD Issue 49

Suge Knight and DMX are out on bail, Michael Phelps won eight gold medals, Laurie Ann Gibson is back on “Making the Band 4,” OJ Simpson was reportedly beat up by his daughter (for real!) and Usaian Bolt has, quite possibly, the coolest name in Olympic history. All is truly right with the world. Too bad the same can’t be said for the music industry. Sales continue to fall, Lil Wayne is still … well, being Lil Wayne, T.I. teamed up with Justin Timberlake for his new album (say what?), Lil Kim won’t stop making music, and Saigon’s album is still set to drop sometime this century (don’t hold your breath). Yet in the midst of all this chaos, the STD crew continues to find ways to dampen your spirits with substandard—yet witty—reviews about your favorite artists. Like Barack Obama says: “Yes we can!”

The Game
L.A.X.

RATING:

Listening to an album by The Game is like listening to someone read off the guest list for a not-so-exclusive party. If you’ve ever met him—or even know someone who has met him—you probably made the list. I mean, this guy drops more names than the “with appearances by” list at awards shows. As annoying as it is, by now you’ve come to expect it from Jayceon so it doesn’t ruin the album too much. Whereas most thought that his departure from under 50 Cent’s umbrella would cause him to drown in the torrential rains that are hip-hop, The Game has surprisingly begun to rise in popularity as Curtis continues to do his best impression of leaves in the winter time.

– A. Hugh Leonard

Ice Cube
Raw Footage

RATING:

Ice Cube is old. Ice Cube is a legend. Anytime you listen to his present-day material you have to hope the former prevails over the latter. With a string of less-than-desirable albums in his recent past, Cube recaptures some of his aggressive/anti-government attitude that led him to classics in the early 90’s. But like any other senior citizen, he can only keep it up for a short time before reverting back to the off-beat delivery and simplistic rhymes that had two legs and an arm of his rap career in the grave. But his latest effort looks to be enough to keep the casket open for a little while longer.

– A. Hugh Leonard

V.I.C.
Beast

RATING:

Sometimes you just have to question the competence of music executives. Common sense would tell any reasonable person that after lucking up on Soulja Boy you won’t be successful with another kid from Atlanta that raps about nothing and makes his own beats. Apparently Mr. Collipark didn’t get that memo. V.I.C. makes Soulja Boy look like a musical genius At least Soulja Boy had a gimmick that was responsible for his popularity. This dude V.I.C. didn’t even make an effort to create a catchy dance to go with his music. He couldn’t have possibly thought people would like him just for his lyrics, could he? After listening to this album it’s apparent that Atlanta has yet another “V.I.C.(K)” that should be thrown in jail. Ouch!

– A. Hugh Leonard

Jonas Brothers.
A Little Bit Longer

RATING:

Imagine N’Sync backed by a live band and slightly more doucebag looking. Jersey-born Jonas Brothers, Kevin, Nick, and Joe return with their third G-rated album—A Little Bit Longer—of bubblegum rock. Along with scream-worthy cuteness of every young, white suburban girl, the Jonas lads offer up their training-wheels version of vintage rock, chockfull sappy love songs and high school hissyfits. Despite the limited shelf life and artistic merits of the G-rated threesome, it’s nice to finally see Miley Cyrus has some boy toys to play with at recess.

– Jason Parham

Solange
Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams

RATING:

Always being compared to your older sister must suck. Especially if said older sister is Grammy winner, platinum selling artist Beyonce Knowles. Actually, that must really suck. Besides questionable wardrobe choices, the album is pretty decent. It’s saturated in the sounds of late 60s and early 70s soul, with retro-inspired tracks from beat mavens Mark Ronson and Raphael Saadiq. If nothing else, Solange makes it very clear throughout the album that she doesn’t want to be compared to big—better, stronger, faster—sis, which is only fair seeing as there’s really no comparison. Give Solange a few more years of divatude, some singing lessons, a secret marriage to a hip hop giant and she might be on par with B—though those are some big prada pumps to fill. Still, you’ve got to give her points for trying.

– Jason Parham

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