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CD Review: Whitney Houston’s “I Look To You”

On “Salute,” the final song off her first album in seven years, once-reigning pop diva Whitney Houston calls up LL Cool J’s classic line to clarify her status: “Don’t call it a comeback,” she sings. “I’ve been here for years.” Quotable rap lines aside, though, this is absolutely a comeback – and for those more […]

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CD review from 2007: Styles P “Super Gangster (Extraordinary Gentleman)”

In a genre where bravado regularly trumps skills, it’s not surprising that Styles P, a survivor of the ’90s D-Block crew, keeps touting his own greatness, as if making the statement could make it come true. Yet for every overblown claim to the rap throne on this ambitious 19-track release, P musters a degree of […]

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CD review from 2007: The Killers’ “Sawdust”

In spite of its self-depreciating title, this odds-and-sods collection of the usual B-sides and other spare tracks lives up to some of the best material the Las Vegas foursome have delivered. The 17 tracks may have been assembled — allegedly as second-rate material — from outtakes, but the designation seems less of a statement of […]

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CD Review: Lil has changed in Weezy’s raps

  “Tha Carter IV” is exactly the type of album you’d expect from Lil Wayne. That’s the main problem. On the Young Money chief’s long-delayed ninth studio effort — recorded after his eight-month stint at Rikers Island for felony gun charges and released yesterday — Wayne shows few signs of artistic growth. Instead, he resorts […]

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CD Review: Musiq Soulchild’s “Onmyradio” sends all the right signals

[Atlantic Records] On his fifth album, Musiq Soulchild sticks to his thus-far successful blueprint, blending the classic and the contemporary with a collection of down-to-earth tracks about love — and not the kind to be found in this club. He also adds an edgy flavor to a handful of less conventional songs that make the album […]

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CD Review: “Cadillac Records” soundtrack can’t measure up to music legends

[Music World Music/Columbia] Measuring up to music legends such as Etta James, Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry is virtually impossible. So you’ll have to forgive the soundtrack to “Cadillac Records” — the movie that chronicles Chess Records co-founder Leonard Chess, who gave rise to some of the greatest blues, R& B and rock music to […]

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CD Review: Kanye West’s “808s & Heartbreak” is more heartbreak than 808

Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam Chased the good life my whole life long/Look back on my life and my life gone/Where did I go wrong? It was bound to happen. Kanye West couldn’t rap and sample Curtis Mayfield and Otis Redding forever. He had to become a New Wave singer. The shift actually began on “Graduation,” when the […]

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