Eve : Eve-olution
Acting like a girl, dog, acting like a broad
That's not to say that her third album is nothing but a display of hip-hop muscle - one minute Eve's a "savage bitch", the next she's gloopily announcing "this track's for the kids". She uses her supporting cast of stars - Dre, Snoop- in the same way as Marilyn used male dancers in 'Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend', a pink satin superstar alongside her grey-suited drones. It's this combination of square-cut-or-pear-shaped attitude and winning vulnerability that makes 'Eve-Olution' shine.
Admittedly, too much of the album is little more than high-gloss, mainstream hip-hop but even when it sounds like nothing that couldn't share a nice bottle of Chardonnay with Beyonce - the marshmallowy Alicia Keys collaboration 'Gangsta Love', the Save-The-Children philosophising of 'As I Grow' - Eve spits out a line that sets things straight. "I wanted to love you til the end of time / but fuck it, I'm done with you at the end of this line" she shrugs on break-up hit 'Let It Go', while she trumps Snoop's toxic drawl on the prescription-pad groove of 'Hey Y'All' with her bitter, biting delivery. The weirder it gets, the better - 'Irresistible Bitch', paced by the suburban-swingers' ping of an electronic doorbell; the kitchen syncopation of 'Double R What'; the title track's dank electro dungeon, tightly bound by a chant of "Eve! Eve!" like a good night in the Temple Of Doom.
Despite the mutant promise of the title, 'Eve-Olution' is hardly startling. Yet as proof that mainstream hip-hop can still learn new tricks, it's a success. Acting like a girl, dog, acting like a broad.
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