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Sweat

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Album Review

Nelly's decision to release his Sweatsuit project as two respective albums, Sweat and Suit — the former clubby and insincere, the latter refined and mannered — is somewhat of a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it's nice to pick whichever side of Nelly's persona you prefer, whether in general or at any particular moment; on the other hand, the separate-album concept makes for two very one-dimensional albums that begin to sound formulaic by their respective conclusions. The thing is, Nelly has plenty of great songs here on these two albums. Quality certainly isn't an issue — he works with a who's who of pop-rap circa 2004, from the Neptunes to Christina Aguilera to Snoop Dogg to Missy Elliott, and ends up with a wealth of certified and could-be hits. Yet by sorting them into two different categories and then lumping them together onto two separate CDs, the diversity at hand is nullified. Granted, this two-styles, two-discs approach worked well for OutKast on Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (and less well, but well nonetheless, for R. Kelly on Happy People/U Saved Me), but it doesn't work so well for Nelly. His Sweatsuit recordings are diverse, for sure, but OutKast he isn't, nor is he the Pied Piper. Rather, Nelly is essentially a pop star who happens to rap, and as such, he specializes in calculated pop formulas — namely clubby, cocky party songs (previously "Hot in Herre," presently "Flap Your Wings") and sweet, sultry love songs (previously "Dilemma," presently "My Place"). And by sorting those two formulas into respective albums, the calculation becomes overt and comes across as formulaic to discerning listeners. The key, then, is to not be a discerning listener: it's best to just let these songs play and take them for what they are — well-done popcraft.

The Sweat disc in particular features, at least, a half-dozen songs that could be smash hits, whether on radio, on MTV, or in clubs: "Na-Nana-Na," "Flap Your Wings," "Tilt Ya Head Back," "Grand Hang Out," "Playa," and "Boy" are all first-rate party rap, on a par with anything else out there on the market in 2004. The others are above average also, resulting in a damn impressive lineup of songs. But they're all distinctly clubby and therefore get a little tiring after a while. It'd be nice to have some of the steamy slow jams from Suit interspersed throughout, if only for the sake of variety, not to mention an occasional (heavy) breather. Still, good music is good music, and Nelly comes up a winner here on Sweat. In no shape or manner is this disc a disappointment — it lives up to its billing and then some. Had Nelly blended these songs with those of Suit into a double-disc buffet or, better yet, cherry-picked them for a single-disc bouquet, he'd have a truly amazing album. (Doing just that on your PC or Mac is highly recommended, by the way, and quite fun.)

Customer Reviews

This is a review for both Sweat and Suit

Nelly's idea of having two different cd's one with his slower music (suit) and one with his up-tempo music (sweat) was a new and alright idea at fist. But when you listen to both albums you slowly ask yourself why he didn't just mix both albums together and make a good album like Sweatsuit or something (which later on he did) if your listenening to just one album then that particular album does get boring, but if they were combined it would have been the album of the year no doubt. He still has top of the line productions on both albums and some pretty good features to like mobb deep, missy elliott, snoop dogg, jazze fae, T.I., Lil' Flip, Christina Aguilera, St. Lunatics, Fat Joe, Ali and the list goes on and on. Nelly shoulda cut like 2 of the alright tracks off of Sweat and just combined the cd's instead. BUt Nelly was looking for more sales i presume. Anyway check em out there worth all the money your spending.

Biography

Born: November 02, 1974 in St. Louis, MO

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A savvy pop-rapper with crossover appeal, Nelly seemed like a novelty when he first debuted in 2000 with "Country Grammar (Hot...)," yet he was no one-hit wonder, consistently returning to the pop charts with smash hits like "Hot in Herre," "Grillz," and "Dilemma." His universality was partly rooted in his hometown — the Gateway City, officially known as St. Louis, Missouri — which set him apart from all of the prevailing rap styles of his time. He wasn't from the East or West Coast,...
Full bio
Sweat, Nelly
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Hip-Hop/Rap, Music, R&B/Soul, Rock
  • Released: Sep 13, 2004
  • Parental Advisory

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