Picks and Pans Review: Mase

updated 09/06/2004 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/06/2004 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Welcome Back

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"I'm wanted in the world like I was Osama," raps Mase on this, his comeback CD after leaving the music business following 1999's Double Up and becoming a minister. Indeed, the emcee makes a most welcome return on his third outing, which finds him delivering the same hook-heavy pop-rap that won him hip-hop glory. Mase hits the ground running with the first four tracks, ingeniously interpolating Madonna's "La Isla Bonita," Jermaine Stewart's 1986 hit "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off" and the Welcome Back, Kotter theme (on the spirited title cut). Although Mase, throwing in a few religious references along the way, can't keep up that pace for the rest of the disc, overall he still deserves praise.

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