21 Songs, 1 Hour 13 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After the subversive, combative mood of fourth album Beats, Rhymes & Life, ATCQ’s fifth is pitched as a (loose) celebration of love. The theme is channeled via two rather duelling styles: poetic and sincere (“Find a Way”, “Against the World”) or carnal and boasty (“Hot 4 U”, “Hot Sex”). Both lyrical approaches benefit from the group’s subtle, effortlessly stylish jazzy beats, but this album’s highlights arrive when guest stars quicken its pulse. Noreaga brings the trio back to their Queens roots on the loose-limbed “Give Me” while Busta Rhymes and Redman’s bravado on the staccato “Steppin’ It Up” is thrilling.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After the subversive, combative mood of fourth album Beats, Rhymes & Life, ATCQ’s fifth is pitched as a (loose) celebration of love. The theme is channeled via two rather duelling styles: poetic and sincere (“Find a Way”, “Against the World”) or carnal and boasty (“Hot 4 U”, “Hot Sex”). Both lyrical approaches benefit from the group’s subtle, effortlessly stylish jazzy beats, but this album’s highlights arrive when guest stars quicken its pulse. Noreaga brings the trio back to their Queens roots on the loose-limbed “Give Me” while Busta Rhymes and Redman’s bravado on the staccato “Steppin’ It Up” is thrilling.

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