“Just a Dream,” essentially an adult contemporary pop-rap single -- a song that would be easily adaptable to a country or pop ballad singer -- became Nelly’s first Top Ten single in five years. Between that and a handful of memorable, scattered hooks, such as the slick ones within the Smash Factory-produced “She’s so Fly” and the Polow-produced “Long Gone,” nothing on the rapper’s sixth studio album encourages repeated listening. Nelly’s exuberance often sounds feigned. The rallying choruses are not effective, and he’s short on ideas; threatening to steal attached women is a default topic. 5.0 is, by a considerable margin, Nelly’s least essential release to date.
by Andy Kellman