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Sweatsuit Review

by Jason Birchmeier

One of the wiser re-releases of the 2005 holiday season, Nelly's Sweatsuit compiles the best moments of his Sweat and Suit albums from a year earlier, and it adds four new songs as well. The end result is the album that should have been released initially -- from a consumer standpoint, at least. Of course, savvy listeners made their own Sweatsuits, using downloads to resequence the best songs from Sweat and, in particular, Suit into a solid, well-balanced, smoothly mixed listen. Those people won't have any need for this official Sweatsuit. The new songs are unexceptional (and not entirely new, some of them available elsewhere) and the sequencing is poor (frontloading the singles and randomly scrambling the rest, which makes for a jagged flow). But for those who don't already own Sweat or Suit, Sweatsuit is an economical means of picking up the many highlights of those albums in one purchase. It's a wise re-release, and one wishes it would have been available a year earlier for the sake of cash-strapped fans who felt ambivalence toward the prospect of buying two spotty, relatively brief albums when a single-disc, 80-minute one like this would have offered more value. In any event, the release of Sweatsuit is better late than never, not unlike an apology.

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