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Goodie Mob: World Party


Goodie Mob

Album: World Party
Label: LaFace/Arista

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Like many of its peers, Goodie Mob is in the midst of a perennial identity crisis, caught between the progressive, spiritual utopianism hinted at by fellow Dungeon Family member Outkast's Aquemini and the grimier realities of the hardcore hip-hop world. World Party takes this tension even further, as the group branches out sonically, employing the services of such commercially savvy East Coast producers as Bad Boy's Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie and Easy Mo Bee in addition to regular collaborators Organized Noize and Dallas Austin. It's a move that may pay off commercially, but it isn't particularly successful artistically, as D-Dot in particular brings out the mercenary side of the group on glum tracks like "Chain Swang." Not surprisingly, the terrific Organized Noize team is responsible for many of the best tracks, from the lascivious "Cutty Buddy" to "Get Rich To This," the rare player anthem that sounds joyous and celebratory rather than obnoxious and empty. But the album's best track is the Cyptron and Dallas Austin-produced "What It Ain't (Ghetto Enuff)," a hilarious, futuristic war of the sexes featuring TLC, vocoders, drum-and-bass rhythms, and laser-tag sound effects. World Party is a typically frustrating album—the homophobia on "All A's" and moments of dreariness throughout seem sorely out of place on an album that's otherwise fun-loving and upbeat—but there's so much good here that it ends up more than compensating for the occasional lapse in quality.