Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
eyecalone of Playahata says....
on December 7, 2003
Some people say that Nappy Roots first album was better, some people say Nappy Roots are straying from their roots, some people say Nappy Roots is trying to go commercial. Their may be some truth to any one of these claims, but the one thing I can say with some confidence is that Nappy Roots sophomore effort, Wooden Leather, is a tight album. Sure their may be a few cuts at the album that were better left unrecorded "War/Peace", "Light & Dark", "Roun' The Globe (remix)" and their may be a few more songs that are more "radio friendly", but the good completely outweighs the bad. Following the success of their platinum selling debut Watermelon, Chicken, and Grits, I imagine that one of the biggest fear of fans, and maybe even group members, was that Nappy might fall victim to the infamous "sophomore jinx" especially with the group's initial success coming as somewhat of a surprise. But the 6-man crew from Kentucky gets it done again with a combination of clinging tightly to their southern roots, the down-to-earth rhymes that many people appreciate them for, and the addition of a little star power in the production arena. The Kanye West produced "These Walls" is one of several standout songs on the album, and they even manage to enlist the talents of the Raphael Saadiq for cuts like "Leave This Morning" and "Work in Progress". Other standouts like "Good God Almighty", "Sick and Tired", and "Push On" - the latter two, assisted by the soulful vocals of Anthony Hamilton - manage to get heads nodding without big name producers. Then their are cuts like "No Good" and "Lac Dogs & Hogs" that leave no doubt that Nappy Roots hails from the South. And despite some seemingly minor changes in content, probably encouraged by some A&R industry flack to "reach a wider audience", when the group does a song about a car ("Lac Dogs and Hogs") or a women's curves ("Twang"), it doesn't come across as ignorant or extremely misogynistic as most of the songs dominating today's radio. Probably not since Goodie Mob's first 2 albums has a group with more than two members represented the south so well and made listeners feel so in tune while doing it, although six members may be overkill for a rap group (especially since I don't know the names of any of the group members or what picture goes with what rhyme). Overall though, despite a few minor hitches, Wooden Leather doesn't disappoint.