CHUCK D Autobiography Of Mistachuck (Mercury)

"Never be a brother like me go solo", he growled in Public Enemy’s "Welcome To The Terrordome", and so here’s Chuck D’s first solo album, subtitled "Report From The Commissioner...". Except it isn’t that much of a solo album, since among the cast of thousands are PE mainstays Eric "Vietnam" Sadler and Gary G-Wiz, and within the grooves are enough PE samples to cause the listener to disbelieve the cover...until you listen closer. Public Enemy’s sonic terrorism has been replaced by a mellower, jazz and soul-based music (special guest producer being Mr Isaac Hayes, who, coincidentally, has been known to cover The Blue Nile’s "Let’s Go Out Tonight" on occasion; less of a mindscrambler than The Blue Nile doing "Fight The Power", I suppose), which, over the course of an hour, gets a little samey without the variety and comic relief his PE partner Flavor Flav used to bring to the proceedings. The misfortune is that while Chuck D has some valid points to impart, for example stereotyping in "No", chat shows in "Talk Show Created The Fool" and his dislike of Range Rovers (too expensive, apparently, buy a Chevy instead is his advice) in "Mistachuck", their impact is diminished almost to nothing by the musical backing, and the posse of yo-boys who appear from time to time to (fail to) convince you how good the album is. As the song goes, "Who needs a band when the beat goes boom?". Well, why did you have to ask?