- Audio CD (Aug. 27 2002)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Universal Music Canada
- ASIN: B00006FR68
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | LP Record
- Average Customer Review: 40 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,726 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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UK edition of the rapper's 2002 album includes the exclusive bonus track, 'U, Me & She'. Guests include Alicia Keys & Gwen Stefani.
Upon her 1999 debut release, Eve Jeffers described herself as "a pit bull in a skirt," but each of her subsequent albums have allowed hip-hop's favorite bombshell to successfully upgrade her image. At this point in her career, Eve is reppin' for the smart and stylish urban female on the go. Graced with witty lyrics (for the most part penned by Ms. Jeffers herself) and just-commercial-enough music, Eve-olution allows the Philly rapper's strong personality and considerable mic skills to shine. The radio-friendly "Gangsta Lovin'" (with the always-buoyant Alicia Keys handling hook duty) and the flirtatious banter of "Figure You Out" (a duet with the up-and-coming rapper-producer, Teflon) underscore the fact that this girl's got game and doesn't care who knows it. Eve's hardcore side is nicely showcased on such tunes as "Ryde Away" (produced by the consistently brilliant Bink) and "Double R What," which features her fellow Ruff Ryders, Jadakiss and Styles of the Lox. --Rebecca Levine
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For someone who wants to go solo, Eve sure doesn't waste time bringing guest stars around. The generic "What" features Truth Hurts (that sounds like a winning combination, doesn't it?), and she's actually singing for real instead of that speak-singing she usually does, but it's nothing to get excited about. Then there's the self-fueled "Satisfaction", which features M.I.A. Tracie Spencer on the chorus, but unfortunately, like most Dr. Dre-produced Eve songs, it sounds like anybody could be singing the chorus. There's also the Ruff-Ryders-ish posse cut "Double R What", with Jadakiss and Styles (did everyone just forget about Sheek?) and produced by Swizz Beatz, and it sounds very three years ago. And finally, there's the mariachi-sounding dance song "Party In The Rain", which is almost worse than Nas' "Braveheart Party". The song features vocalist Mashonda, who sounds like she graduated from the Ashanti School of Singing.
Production on this album isn't all that great either. Dr. Dre drops a lazy beat on "What". He also brings back that very annoying handclap beat on "Satisfaction"; Swizz Beatz does the same thing for "Double R What". And the Trackmasters-produced "Figure You Out" is actually pretty listenable (musically, anyway), but the beat makes it sound like a recycled Neptunes song.
She claims that "As I Grow" is a song for the kids, but I guess she's saying that because the song has no swearing in it, because the song really doesn't make any sense. Actually, a lot of these songs don't make sense, like "Ryde Away" and "Hey Y'all". The latter features Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg, and Snoop is dropping his lamest rhymes since "Snoop's Upside Ya Head". All three of those songs are fast-forwardable, as well as the obligatory breakup song, "Let This Go". There are some okay songs like "Gangsta Lovin'" (though I'm really tired of everyone sampling or interpolating Yarbrough & Peoples' "Don't Stop The Music") and the title track. But the really good songs are...actually, there aren't any. Eve may still be able to bring it at times, but on this album it sounds like she forgot how.
The only problem Eve has ever had was her beat selection. She has been stuck with Swizz Beats, an aight producer with occasional flashes of brilliance, but DEFINITELY can't sustain an entire album. And with Eve albums his time behind the boards has been cut down drastically for each album. And for this album he only produces two songs, which is great. Hopefully next album there won't be any of him. She gets the right producers behind this thing such as Dr. Dre, Irv Gotti, Tone & Poke, Bink and others. Eve also recruits some of her industry friends such as Jadakiss & Styles, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Alicia Keys, and Truth Hurts to help her out.
Of course everyone has heard the superb Gangsta Lovin feat. Alicia Keys, which is off the chain. Other tight songs have to be What, Party IN The Rain, Hey Yall, Figure You Out, Double R What, Satisfaction and As I Grow. The best song on the album is Let This Go, which has a phenomenal beat and melody. This is a song about breaking up with someone and going through the story of why they broke up. Excellent. Even the skits are pretty dang on good and I hate skits. The problem with this album is that it has some ridiculously lame tracks. Irrestible Chick is complete garbage, the Intro is useless, Neckbones has an-impossible-to-flow-over beat and the title track is usless.
Even with all those minor grievances, Eve-Olution is a winner. Invest in this album; I promise you will be satisfied. Recommended.
Eve is one of those rare rappers out there who does not resort to endless "guns, women, cristal, I'm the best and you are nothing" themes. It shows so clearly in the jarring misstep of a track "Double R What", which sounds completely out of place, with Jadakiss/Styles pointlessly violent rapping about (what else?) guns and shooting up as many people possible ("32 or, whatever the Tek hold", as Jadakiss puts it)
Eve's subject matter is so far above that of her collaborators it's (amazing). While her Ruff Ryder companions just keep spitting the same nonsense about guns,guns, guns, guns, she actually has something MEANINGFUL to say. As it happens, Double R What is the only reason I dock this album one star. The rest of it is laced with strong songs with themes one wishes would show up more often in rap music, like a male protagonist who actually shows RESPECT for women (in the flirtatious, uptempo "Figure You Out"). The single "Gangsta Love" is well mounted as well, a nice pear of ear candy and a solid turn by both Eve and Alicia Keys. If you're someone who's never liked rap, give this album a shot. It's a welcome beacon of light in a genre that has been too long dominated by the same pointless stereotypes perpetuated by 99% of the rest of rap artists out there.
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