Album review

Jay-Z - The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse

What made The Blueprint so great was Jay-Z's opulent showbiz, magnifying his ego to global proportions. But can such an ego be tolerated over a double album?

Alas, despite individually powerful tracks like "Hovi Baby" and "Bitches & Sisters", we've heard too much of this before. There are obligatory contributions from the Neptunes and Timbaland, of which the former come out much the better ("Fuck All Nite", "Nigga Please"), and equally predictable appearances by Jay-Z's current other half Beyoncé Knowles, and Faith Evans. By the time Jay-Z is reduced to rocking out with Lenny Kravitz on "Guns & Roses", you will be reduced to apoplexy.

Rating: 2 / 10


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Editor's Letter

Reviewed: Respect Yourself: Stax Records And The Soul Explosion by Robert Gordon


As Robert Gordon reminds us in Respect Yourself: Stax Records And The Soul Explosion, his terrific account of the rise and fall of the great Memphis soul imprint, the Stax story is more than a record-label history. “It is an American story,” Gordon writes,”...