April 2, 2009

Test Spin: Jim Jones

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The Juelz Santana-assisted “Girlfriends” is by far the best song on Pray IV Reign, the fourth album from Harlem hip-hopper Jim Jones. Beyond this track, though, the album lacks energy and originality. Even when I got over the discovery that “How to Be a Boss” only features Busta Rhymes on a version of the album I did not purchase, I was still disappointed with this latest effort from one of the co-founders of The Diplomats.
“Album Intro,” an uneventful push of sound, is aptly named, as it sets the tone for the rest of the album, where sluggish drums and instrumentals that barely move or change are the norm. Melodies on songs such as “Pulling Me Back” and “Frienemies” are so stagnant that they become almost hypnotic — and not in a good way. A positive take on all of this is that lethargic drums and lackluster melodies match up very well with the low-pitched slow flow that Jim Jones employs throughout the vast majority of his lyrical performance on Pray IV Reign. But, after a while you want him to show you some versatility.
There is nothing particularly wrong with this album, but there also is nothing particularly right about it. When it comes down to it, music just has to make you move, either physically or emotionally, and the latest from Jim Jones just doesn’t pack enough punch to have an impact.