Nelly’s “Brass Knuckles”

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September 23, 2008

4:55 PM

What comes to mind when I hear the name Nelly? Two songs: “Country Grammar” and “Hot in Herre.”

The rapper’s seemingly natural ability to just pump out one club anthem after another has always left me with a sense of awe and excitement. And thus, I can proudly say that I was probably the first customer to click “Purchase Album” on iTunes when Nelly’s latest, “Brass Knuckles,” was released last Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. All for good reason — the latest effort is a fantastic mix of catchy up-tempos and smooth jams.
The album’s variety is easily its strongest aspect. While the first song, “U Ain’t Him,” is nothing new, it serves as a reminder of why Nelly is so successful in the first place: his infusion of exotic beats with fairly simple lyrics. Nelly has the ability to transform a run-of-the-mill rap into a chart-topping sensation.

The album slows down at about the half way mark with the strongest song on the album, “One and Only.” Here, boastful Nelly humbles himself, informing his ex-girlfriend that “My only kryptonite is you / That is why anything you say I do.” Unfortunately, the album does suffer from repetitive rhymes. Avoid the track “LA” unless you enjoy a song that rhymes continuously off the word “chest.” But the wide array of material featured on this gem more than outweighs its minor issues with repetitiveness. “Brass Knuckles,” in short, continues Nelly’s tradition of consistent, quality material.

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