Album: Until the End of Time
Label: Death Row
2Pac has been music's busiest ghost since his 1996 death.
The 29 tracks that make up the first of two double albums set to explore Pac's Makaveli persona do nothing to further the legacy of rap's greatest artist, but do turn up some fine moments.
Letter To My Unborn, When Thugs Cry, and the title track offer insightful wordplay that's second to none, remaining better than anything else on the market today.
Problems with the release come with from fact that there is too much sub-par material, oftentimes tracks 2Pac never got to finish properly. The potency of Time becomes watered down with numbers like My Closest Roaddogs and Lil' Homies that only hint a
t the rapper's genius. Yet it is 2Pac's charisma as a vocalist and performer that makes much of the music listenable even at its weaker moments.
There will surely be much more to come from the late artist, but this album is meant only for dedicated fans.
Artist: Trick Daddy
Album Thugs Are Us
Who wants to party?
Trick Daddy does, and his latest, Thugs Are Us, gets all up in them drawers with roof-raising club hits worshipping money (Have My Cheese), women (For All My Ladies) and certain female body parts (Pull The Remix).
The prime element that makes Thugs work is the minimal use of violent lyrics to portray rough imagery. Instead, big beats, humor and a loose atmosphere reign supreme as on the current single Take It To Da House.
The Miami native gets sweaty on tracks like The Hotness and I'm A Thug, which casts the rapper as a tough character without seeming pretentious.
Daddy could have trimmed the more mediocre numbers that cloud the album, but tunes like 99 Problems more than make up for the rotten moments.
Artist: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
Album: Live In New York City
If anything, Bruce Springsteen's HBO concert special proved that he and his E Street Band are still in top form with a performance unequaled in its passion.
The accompanying live album that features the entire special with 6 bonus tracks doesn't capture all of the emotion but is excellent none the less.
One of the album's finer moments turns up in the revamped hit Atlantic City, in which a climactic buildup turns the mid-tempo song into an anthem.
The controversial American Skin (41 Shots) is an excellent song, but pales in comparison to the elevated numbers Prove It all Night, Out On The Street, and the unlisted Born To Run.
Both lyrically and musically, Live In New York City bests Springsteen's 3-CD Live 75-85 box set with a renewed sense of vitality and vigor.
Published: Tue Apr 17, 2001 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 03:37 p.m.