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Reviews:

The Dog, DarkMan, X, Earl; call him what you will, but DMX's latest album, "And Then There Was X" is a disappointment. Although not terrible, this release fails to live up to the heralded rapper's standards.

"And Then There Was X" is actually an entertaining album with its share of bright spots, but it is by far the worst of his three. It almost seems DMX is trying a few experimental techniques; he has implemented a variety of R&B beats combined with an uncharacteristically slow style that simply does not work well. Although his innovative approach is commendable, DMX fans have certain expectations of hard-hitting, fast-paced beats accompanied by intense, fragmented vocals. In this respect, "And Then There Was X" fails to deliver.

There are, however, several highlights on X's new CD. The lyrics on tracks such as "More 2 A Song" and "Fame" deliver messages against the commercialized approach many rappers have taken. Several guest appearances also enhance the album. The Lox and Drag-On join DMX himself on "D-X-L," which makes for quite possibly the best track on the new release. Even a guest appearance by Sisqo of R&B mainstreamers Dru Hill is effective.

Overall, "And Then There Was X" is a good album. It is not traditional DMX, however, and is therefore a bit disappointing. This is clearly his weakest to date, but is still worth buying for a true DMX fan.

 
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