Flesh-N-Bone

5th Dog Let Loose

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Rumored for release back in 1999 on Def Jam as Book of Thugs, Flesh-N-Bone's second album, 5th Dog Let Loose, mysteriously appeared a year later on Koch with a new title and a disjointed feel. If Def Jam had dropped Flesh from its roster after hearing the demos from this record, it wouldn't be surprising. 5th Dog Let Loose does little to dismiss the critics who labeled Flesh the least talented member of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony after his disappointing first album. Like on his debut, Flesh can't seem to make up his mind about whether he's a hard-rapping ghetto thug or a melodic gospel rapper. Perhaps if he could find a smooth balance between the two styles as Bone Thugs-N-Harmony did on their breakthrough album, E 1999 Eternal, his juxtaposing natures could be forgiven, yet he never really comes close on 5th Dog Let Loose. Songs such as "Amen" and "Way Back" stand out with their harmonious use of vocals, while other songs such as "Kurupted Flesh" and "Armegeddon" weigh down the album with their hard edge. The fact that Flesh struggled with jail sentences while working on the album probably didn't help. Producer Damon Elliott was left to piece it all together pretty much on his own, perhaps explaining the unpolished feel of the album. If anything, 5th Dog Let Loose reaffirms the popular theory that Bone Thugs-N-Harmony works well as a group with their collage of harmonious voices but suffers as solo artists without the vocal harmonies and juxtapositions or the charisma offered by a group.

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