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Pharoahe Monch: Desire
Buy! - (SRC/Universal Motown)
One of hip hop’s great lyricists returns with his 2nd album, 8 years after his landmark solo debut Internal Affairs, which brought a harder, more aggressive edge to the playful, even surreal style he fostered as one-half of the legendary ‘90s rap duo Organized Konfusion. His skills remain undiminished, and Monch can still spit out complex, creative rhymes ranging from the political to the personal. Sonically, this might be his strongest work yet, with a revamped sound incorporating a variety of soul, funk and gospel influences. Not everything works (including a Public Enemy cover that can’t compete with the fiery original), but Desire is one of the year’s most distinctive hip hop albums. 6/27/2007 - Don Yates