The critics' take on Attack of the Clones, etc.

Highlights from the week in criticism.
May 10 2002 4:30 PM

Attack of the Groans

(Continued from Page 1)
CD Cover

The Trials and Tribulations of Russell Jones, by Old Dirty Bastard (D3). Incarceratingly bad reviews for this third album from rap's favorite con. "With a real life more chaotic than any of the ones depicted on his crazed recordings, this Wu-Tang Clan member must have patched together his third album in between trips to rehab and prison." Worse, "he seems like a guest on his own project": "[A] bevy of cameos from less charismatic rappers and the collection's B-level production create their own set of tribulations—for listeners" (Soren Baker, the Los Angeles Times). Sure, "[t]he record does indeed feature some of ODB's "inimitable fever-pitch rhymes over some intermittently catchy tracks." But "the album as a whole is a scrapped-together mishmash of disconnected rap snippets, gratuitous guest appearances, and questionable production" (Troy Carpenter, Billboard). (Click here for a Web site devoted to freeing ODB from jail.)— A.B.

Adam Baer is a culture critic for the New York Sun and contributor to the New York Times Book Review, Travel + Leisure, and Slate, among other publications.

Bryan Curtis, Slate's "Middlebrow" columnist, writes for Grantland, Texas Monthly, and Newsweek. Follow him on Twitter.

Ben Mathis-Lilley is editor of the Slatest.