Athens, Georgia white-trash rapper's improbably fine return

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Bubba Sparxxx – Deliverance

Sceptics might have dismissed the hick-hop of Sparxxx’s 2001 debut Dark Days, Bright Nights as a one-off novelty. But that would be underestimating his raps?wiser and more melancholic than the farmboy image suggests?and the exceptional gifts of his producer and label boss, Timbaland. As his rivals The Neptunes become more minimal, Tim’s sound is increasingly baroque, so “Comin’ Round” supplements Sparxxx’s thoughtful rap with C&W samples, fiddles, intricate beats, acid squelches, a go-go breakdown and great chunks of Missy’s “Work It”. Justin Timberlake, various OutKast affiliates, the Whistle Test theme, Afrobeat and some grisly hair metal appear too, on an album that is as poignant as it is over the top.