Picks and Pans Review: Muse Sick N Hour Mess Age

updated 07/11/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/11/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Public Enemy

With its first album in nearly three years—an almost suicidal hiatus in the quickly changing world of rap—Public Enemy is out to prove that it's still No. 1 among hip hop's explosive acts. Though far from a failure, Muse Sick N Hour Mess Age is hampered by its numbing length, less than forceful production (the album lacks PE's distinctively strident sound) and Chuck D's predictable racial rants. Yet Public Enemy show's lively signs of its former self, especially on the finger popping "Give It Up" and the ominous "So Whatcha Gone Do Now?" The latter, which criticizes gangsta rap and its emphasis on violence, may be the most challenging cut this group has recorded, reminding you of what made Public Enemy so important in the first place. (Columbia)

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