Album: Arrested Development <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

Since the Last Time, EDEL
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The Independent Culture

Having sold five million copies of their debut album, Arrested Development struck out so completely with its 1994 follow-up, Zingalamaduni, that they effectively threw in the towel. The group's frontman Speech, with his later solo album, offered the rap equivalent of a dull diary - and, sadly, this comeback effort is no better, featuring his patronising, finger-wagging raps alongside aggrandising self-assessments (in one track, he compares himself to James Brown, Muhammad Ali, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X and, yes, Jesus Christ!) and excuses for failure. "We lived in the belly of the beast, tried to plant seeds, but strong weeds make seeds not grow," he explains in "Sao Paulo", failing to mention the part played by the group's weedy grooves - paraquat on any lyrical seeds. His PC-ness can be hilarious, like his hand-wringing in "Sunshine" over being attracted to a white woman, but is, ultimately, annoying. In "Stand", a tedious account of what he stands for - don't ask - he notes that "the man who points his finger at everyone else has got four other fingers pointed back at himself". But isn't that him?

DOWNLOAD THIS: 'Sao Paulo', 'Heaven', 'Inner City'