Album Review- Eve - Lip Lock

Femme fatale Eve was once the hottest female rapper to on the earth. She was the sole female on Ruff Ryders and was known for serious lyrics and a subtle sexuality that wasn't oversold like with Lil' Kim. She turned all of this into modeling and acting gigs which culminated with the TV show "Eve" which ran on the WB for a couple of years. Since then, she has been off the radar thought a couple of years ago the new album buzz began when she released "Tambourine" but the album never developed. Finally, on her own, Eve has released her new independent album "Lip Lock".

To bring herself back, Eve's first track is the self-titled "Eve" which features Ms. Kitty on the hook. It's immediately apparent that Eve's hiatus hasn't mellowed her any as she comes out aggressively to remind everyone just who she is and the beat bounces too. "She Bad Bad" has a kind of annoying hook thats an attempt to be catchy and might garner spins with a simple beat. Again, Eve comes with a hard delivery telling you why the men want her. The 'single' of the moment is "Make it Out This Town" which features Gabe Saporta of Cobra Starship and represents what Eve  has managed to balance in her career, topical, strong subject matter that doesn't come off as preachy. This song is perfect for all formats of radio and ready for a video and is extra uplifting.

"All Night" with Claude Kelly and Propain is alright for an attempt at a club song. Dawn Richards handles the hook on "Keep Me From You" where she sings nothing can keep Eve away from her lover like being together like hip-hop. The chorus is slowed down but the main verses are very uptempo and fit for the club circuit in top 40 spots. Meanwhile, "Wanna Be" featuring Missy Elliott and Nacho is in the hate it or love it category as they sample a bit of the people's court theme and add a serious drum for the uptempo song that reminds me of something Eve might have had in the Double R days but Eve drops only one verse and Missy kind of weirds the track out with a manipulated vocal.

"Grind or Die" isn't bad but it doesn't stand out and the chorus is kind of annoying. "Zero Below"  has Eve speaking on how she feels about her position in the game. She is still feeling that she is as sharp as ever and has no love for anyone else. "Forgive me" is forgettable as Eve raps about why a woman's man man wants her. "Never Gone" is a good song and features Chrisette Michelle in a song about perseverance. Another feature earlier in the album is that of Snoop Dogg on "Mama in the Kitchen" which isn't about anything. The final track is the "She Bad Bad remix" which features Pusha T and Juicy J and Push doesn't do bad here.

Honestly, a lot of artists disappear for a while and come back with less than stellar results. They don't have a head of steam and have trouble defining a sound, Eve avoids these issues and puts out a solid effort especially to handle independently after having major label support for the past few years. Some of the songs are too pop and may not have a true topic for Eve to focus on but the production is top notch and the album sounds cohesive. While she doesn't have too many strictly hip-hop tracks, Eve's rap style helps to maintain the integrity she has accrued over the years even when aiming for a more universal sound. Fans will love what Eve brings to the table even more than others.

Rating: 3/5


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