Eve

Lip Lock

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    7
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Go ahead and call it a comeback, since Eve's previous effort was promised, and then shelved, back in 2007, but this quite worthwhile 2013 album is certainly no throwback or return to form. Instead, Lip Lock is thoroughly modern Eve as "Keep Me from You" goes for the David Guetta sound with some club-aimed EDM production from Sander Van Der Waal and DJ Surge, while "Grind or Die" is some effective robotic dubstep ground out by producer Felix Snow. "She Bad Bad" is some post-Major Lazer dancehall madness with a syrup-sipped loop for its love-it-or-hate-it hook, while "Make It Out of This Town" with Cobra Starship's Gabe Saporta on the assist is a sincere, empowering pop-rap ballad that works. Other bits of the album come with the charm of Eve's friend Gwen Stefani and/or the polish of Eve's sometimes employer, the television show Glee, plus the energy is mostly positive and more motivational than her knife-throwing, Ruff Ryders tracks of the past. Still, when producer Blac Elvis brings the ridiculous, pumping electro and special guest Missy Elliot brings the fire, Eve lights up like a roman candle and shoots out so many glorious put-downs ("Bank rolls be fatter than your back fat") that the vicious "Wanna Be" runs away with first prize. A couple more bitchy bits like this and the album could win over old fans with ease, but if Lip Lock isn't mean enough, well, neither is Eve. She's sweeter than before and musically more adventurous. It's just a shame she burned up the title Eve-Olution on that previous release.

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