Nelly: Kwaku Alston/Corbis Outline
David Browne
September 17, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Sweat

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Nelly
Producers
Universal
genre
Hip-Hop/Rap

We gave it a B-

Sweat works its way through all the hallmarks we’ve come to expect from Nelly records: the electro-syncopated beats, the droolingly witty rhymes (”Sex in the city, sex in the country/Sex in the zoo, right behind the monkeys”), and enough references to his financial portfolio to make you think you’re hearing a singing CEO. Buffeted by a sample of Curtis Mayfield’s ”Superfly,” Nelly and Christina Aguilera slurp each other up in ”Tilt Ya Head Back,” and he dabbles in synthreggae (”River Don’t Runn”) and bombast (”Heart of a Champion,” surely a future sports-show anthem). The album inevitably deteriorates into generic boasts via guest rappers, and the single ”Flap Your Wings” is a lame retread of Nelly past.

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