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Power in Numbers Clean

4.6 out of 5 stars 177 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Clean, October 8, 2002
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$16.07 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 1 left in stock. Sold by Customer Direct and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

With their sing-along hooks, Cold Crush harmonizing and cutesy stage antics, it's easy to understand why Jurassic 5 have had such an easy time finagling their indie props and old-school sound into sizable mainstream success. J5 will never be confused with the newest, flashiest or most radical crew, and knowing themselves and their limitations has always been part of their appeal.

The flipside of this is that it tends to stunt one's growth, and many felt that J5's debut, Quality Control, seemed limited by formula, vision and an adherence to throwback aesthetics. In contrast, the excellent Power in Numbers finds the group inching toward the future with a fuller sound and different looks. "Freedom" finds them in a stern pose, lashing at those who phone it in, 2na chiding, "Got people screaming, 'Free Mumia Jamal'/But two out of three of y'all will probably be at the mall. " "Thin Line" is J5's obligatory "You Got Me" moment, an F-word ballad pinned down by Nelly Furtado and the ghosts of Minnie Riperton and Charles Stepney. Far better is the stunning "Hey," a contribution from upstart production duo Shafiyq and Omas that saunters hazily in summer heat. In a particularly good year for nostalgic 1989 soundalikes, "A Day At the Races" just might claim champion sound with its throwback bass line and guest legend Percee P's breath-defying fast rap. Anachronistic or not, Jurassic 5's newest is a feel-good protest against a cynical culture, and that may be the most progressive act of all.

Hua Hsu -- From URB Magazine

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 8, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Clean
  • Label: Interscope Records
  • ASIN: B00006L3L5
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (177 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #695,745 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I have to give credit to this album for being a large stepping stone in my infatuation for hip-hop. It was one of those albums that came along and showed me that hip-hop wasn't dead. And that there are still some great musicians reviving the muddled commercial product of hip-hop. The lyrics are true to the soul, and it possesses a colorful and inventive production to match. Although, the production is a bit different from that of their critically acclaimed 2000 "Quality Control". The production wins points for intelligence and originality, but misses on the freshness that "Quality Control" had. Since the beats are a little darker, and a little more minimal, that just leaves more room to concentrate on four of the greatest tongue-twisters in hip-hop, which leaves little to complain about.

Jurassic 5 takes all the classic elements from the golden age of hip-hop and spins them into exciting and creative directions. Sure, it's what a lot of emcees and producers in hip-hop "try" to do; but the four emcees, DJ Nu-Mark and Cut Chemist simply possess the skills to get the job done. Take "Freedom" for example. The beats are very old-school and skeletal, but the flows, rhymes and messages are on point, which makes it a standout. "If You Only Knew" also contains one of their most important messages, which maps the trials and tribulations that they've gone through over the years. But I must say, "Break" is probably my favorite track, which is little more reminiscent of the production on "Quality Control"; it shines. The simple bass, guitar and drum loop has an infection build-up, which eventually breaks into some sweet scratching for a solid conclusion. Then comes the chorusless and hookless battle rhyming of "A Day at the Races" featuring Big Daddy Kane; very sweet.
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Format: Audio CD
Two years after their critically acclaimed full-length debut, Quality Control, Jurassic 5 is back with their sophomore LP, Power In Numbers. While they have retained their old school style, Jurassic 5 has definitely evolved between their two releases. On PIN they have embraced a slightly more pop sound that will allow a wider number of fans to make the transition from MTV's pop-rap to J5's underground style. However, they are still far from sounding anything like Jay-Z or Nelly.
Structurally, PIN is very similar to their debut album: they both start with a spoken word track and end with a clever instrumental piece by DJs Nu-Mark and Cut Chemist. Power In Number's equivalents are unfortunately inferior to the DJs' previous effort. The closer, "Acetate Prophets," features Nu-Mark's creative beats and samples and Cut Chemist's amazing turntable skills, but it lacks the character of it's Quality Control equivalent, "Swing Set."
However, this does not mean the entire CD is inferior to their first LP. As soon as the second track "Freedom" hits with its simple jazzy guitar and drum loops and flowing lyrics, you'll understand why J5 was on top of many editor's top 10 lists in the year 2000. Jurassic 5 shines in its relatively simple approach to hip-hop. Instead of overwhelming the listener with studio effects, blasting dance beats or electronic noise, J5's DJs use creative instrumental samples that allow emcees Chali 2NA, Marc 7, Zaakir and Akil to flow melodiously over the beat. In fact, J5 is one of the few hip-hop groups that are vocally aware. Throughout the disc all four emcees are in tune with the instrumentals, which is not only a testament to the group's vocal skill, but the DJ's excellent choice of beats and samples.
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Format: Audio CD
To correct myself, it's a love/hate relationship. I grew up on Run DMC and The Beastie Boys, but I quickly lost interest in hip hop during the Mase, Puff Daddy and Biggy days. From that point to now, with all of the commercial so-called "gangster rap" and "durty south", I can easily tell you it's garbage. Because of the trash that soars through the hip hop mainstream, true noble rap has been forced underground.

Now take Jurassic 5, Power in Numbers, and you have great, true to the art form hip hop that sits next to Del, Hieroglyphics, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, and DJ Quik. This album specifically, Power in Numbers, is an awesome follow up to Quality Control, one of my favorite albums. Although not as good as Quality Control, is an amazing sophomore product. The two DJ's don't fail to push out great old school beats whilst 4 MC's synthesize rhymes and kinetic flow over subjects more interesting than hoes and shooting people.

If you love rock, and hate hip hop, but have enough guts to find out what the hip hop underground is all about, pick up this album and help the rest of us enthusiasts bring the art back.

Summary: This album is a must-own.
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Format: Audio CD
As one Amazon reviewer of "Quality Control" said, J5 albums were for kids who wanted more eclectic record collections. Before last week, that might have been true for me. I'd thought about picking up this album for a few months, but feared falling into the stereotypes some people would label me with. I finally picked it up (After the Bonus DVD was no longer available). This is truly the most addicting album that I've ever heard. I bought it about a week ago, and it's just about the only album I've listened to since then. It's what true hip-hop is by many people's definitions. Listening to J5's lead emcee Chali 2na's deep, commanding voice is intoxicating, and the beats by Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark are too sweet. If you're thinking about skipping out on this because you think someone might think you're trying to be something you're not, go buy it anyway! Do not miss out on this, no matter who you are. Buy this and you will hear great skillz and style from the J5 emcees that might be the best you've ever heard. Hearing Chali 2na's voice is reason enough to grab this album. The top tracks are: "What's Golden" (This is the single heard on the Sprite commercial with the lo-rider bikes. It's an all around great beat, with great lyrics, but Chali's verse isn't nearly long enough!), Hey (Just smooth and relaxing). Not one bad track. Just go get this album!
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