October 7 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 22  

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Obie Trice


Think back to Jun. 2002, right around the time when Eminem dropped the first single, "Without Me," off of his new LP. In the first three seconds, you may remember hearing an unfamiliar voice promising, "Obie Trice: real name, no gimmicks."

After more than a year of touring and doing guest-spots on the albums of the Shady Records/Aftermath camp, Obie finally has a chance to shine solo. Does he live-up to the hype? Indubitably.

Aside from the comical lunacy of his catchy radio tune "Got Some Teeth," the rest of Cheers paints an interesting portrait of the 24-year-old Detroit rapper's life up to this point.

Half the songs on the album are potential singles and with guest spots from the likes of Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes and the Shady one himself, this shouldn't take anyone by surprise. Don't, however, attribute the album's success solely to Obie's famous friends: Trice can rhyme with the best of them.

-Brent Carpenter

Jason Plumb

Under and Over
Maple Music Recordings

Under and Over is exactly that - sometimes a little under and sometimes a little over what you would expect from the debut album of former Waltons frontman, Jason Plumb. The album begins sincere and strong, by way of a satisfying melody and heavy instrumentals. It has a particular Canadian sound that can only be attributed to the notable Canadian artists' support on the album: it is produced and co-written by Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies, features duets with Sarah Harmer and Damhnait Doyle and has song writing credited to members of Spirit of the West.

Lyrically, the album demonstrates Plumb's finest talents, asserting his status as one of Canada's best songwriters. Robertson's influence is heard mostly in "Loved Inconsistently," an upbeat song celebrating the fun of love. Though the songs "Back at Me" and "Wide Open" shake the sound up a bit, much of the record borders on generic easy listening. By the eighth track, "Had Enough," I'd almost had enough myself.

-Ashley Audrain



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