Picks and Pans Review: Get Rich or Die Tryin'

updated 11/28/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/28/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

Original Soundtrack

[STARS 2.5]

Although this is technically the soundtrack to 50 Cent's semi-autobiographical movie, Get Rich or Die Tryin', it could also be the new G Unit album. All 16 cuts (plus two bonus tracks) feature either 50 himself or one of his G Unit posse: Lloyd Banks, Young Buck and Tony Yayo. Coming off his impressive solo debut, 2004's The Hunger for More, Banks, in particular, steps up on five songs, including the down-and-dirty party jam "Get Low." But this disc ultimately lives and dies on the strength of its leading man, who appears on all but four numbers. Unfortunately, with a shortage of hot beats to inspire him, 50 sounds like he is in cruise control for much of the CD. While tracks like "Hustler's Ambition" and "I Don't Know Officer" may serve the plot of the film, they are not up to the gangsta standards of his 2003 debut, also named Get Rich or Die Tryin', or even this year's The Massacre. (There's certainly nothing here that can touch Eminem's "Lose Yourself" from his 8 Mile soundtrack.) Still, even a subpar 50 is better than most, and he has his moments, such as "We Both Think Alike," a sexy sequel to "Candy Shop" also featuring vocalist Olivia, and the blaxploitation-sounding "What If."

DOWNLOAD THIS: "We Both Think Alike"

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