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Since the Last Time

Arrested Development

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Album Review

Lively hippies and pop-rap hip-hoppers Arrested Development were not on the über-cool list in 2007 when their Since the Last Time album landed on most shores (Japan got in 2006 because the country never gave up on this little act that could). Suing the beloved Arrested Development television show over name rights and appearing on the "where are they now and have they no shame?" series Hit Me Baby One More Time made this 15-year-old act seem like it was better off forgotten, which is why Since the Last Time is such a shock. Once the listener gets past the opening title track — a history lesson in song that's best left for longtime fans — the album opens up into a hook-filled world of positive, effervescent songs that are intoxicating in a sunshine way, as if the jam band attitude invaded hip-hop. "Miracles" is an instantly gripping slice of fast funk that captures that same Sly Stone magic the band caught on their 1992 track "People Everyday." More warm memories of AD's debut album are brought on by "Sunshine" and "Stand," but the hyperkinetic "I Know I'm Bad" is a completely welcome curveball with the band sounding more raw than they ever have. Leader Speech writes lyrics that are as hopeful as ever, with the added benefit of being a little older and wiser. In the end, the only reason to complain is that his frequent referencing of the band and its past is a little too insider for this otherwise outgoing and welcoming effort.

Biography

Formed: 1988 in Atlanta, GA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the major success stories of 1992, Arrested Development are a progressive rap collective fusing soul, blues, hip-hop, and Sly & the Family Stone-influenced funk with political, socially conscious lyrics. The group was founded in the late '80s by rapper Speech and DJ Headliner, who decided to make the transition to a more positive, Afrocentric viewpoint after hearing Public Enemy. Arrested Development's debut album took its title from the amount of time it took the group to secure a record...
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Since the Last Time, Arrested Development
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