Nelly Da Derrty Versions: The Reinvention Review

Released 2003.  

BBC Review

Reinvention is for him little more than a glamorous term for 'remix', and a handy way...

Katharina Lobeck 2004

When artists announce their reinvention, it usually means that either the previous album generated less profits than the label had hoped for, that their image has become too played out to still generate interest, or that they feel a genuine desire to change direction. Nelly seems quite content acting the Midwest macho, and his sales figures show no sign of dropping below multi platinum either.

Reinvention is for him little more than a glamorous term for 'remix', and a handy way of pretending that Da Derrty Versions is indeed more than a quick remix album destined to reap in Nelly's personal Christmas bonus.

He pumps all his party friendly hit singles through the rejuvenator of 'Derrty Entertainment', maintaining their sing-a-long charm over slightly altered beats that are spiced with the odd musical surprise and guest vocal. Some tracks, such as the smooth "Ride Wit Me" (featuring City Spud), and the Timberlake-d "Work It" truly benefit from the new treatment, while others, including last year's smash hit "Dilemma" worked better in the more coherent song shape of the original. Ron Isley, hip hop's re-discovery of the year, lends some slick seduction to "Pimp Juice" while a truckload of Nelly's protégées turn the catchy "Batter Up" into something of a promo clip for 'Derrty Entertainment'.

Unsurprisingly, the most outstanding track on the album is Nelly's new single "Iz U", which twists the theme of the TV series 'Peoples Court' into a driving club anthem, and introduces another one of those memorable hooks you'll find yourself humming all year.

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