Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation Of...      
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written by Philip Oliver    
Hip-hop purists are gonna hate me for this, but if you don't mind a mix of RnB in your hip hop (not to the point its got cheesy choruses though) this is the release of the year. Lauryn has been working on this for a long while, anticipation has been high and she delivers the goods. 'Lost Ones' kicks things off which is the b-side to her current single, it's a roughneck track from Lauryn who kicks thing in hard b-girl fashion (the competition may now retire). Straight after this she mellows out for the melodic and dramatic 'Hurts so bad', the first of many sung tracks (I'd say the album is a third Rapping, third sung and the rest a combination, but who's complaining? she can do both extremely well). The first single 'Doo Wop' is obviously included and if you haven't heard it, its a lighter hip hop track with Lauryn warning the women about the guys and telling the guys how to treat the women. 'Everything Is Everything' has a haunting string arrangement which kind of reminds me of Wu's 'Triumph' in a way but not as hardcore, still a brilliant track. The title track is an up tempo personal account of Lauryn's memories growing up when "Slick Rick and Doug E fresh were together," this itself is similar to 'Doo Wop' but i don't think it recaptures that sound. As we draw to a close the haunting cover of 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You' actually improves on the original (But lets face it, its not hard for Lauryn to accomplish with any track, that voice is so great). The album is rounded off with the Mahogany mix of 'The sweetest thing' so if you didn't catch it when it came out last year with john forte and the S.W.A.T. sample its here now. This album has proved Lauryn can do it all, Rap, sing and produce, forget Missy Lauryn is the hip hop/Soul sensation of the nineties, even if RnB isn't your thing its worth expanding your horizons with this album, definitely purchase.

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