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Conrad Newholmes Peppermint Styles

A one-inch scratch across this CD‘s surface actually improved a few of Mr. Newholmes‘ songs, which were made more alive with funkier double-time rhythms and vocals diced into split-second bits. That says something about this otherwise second-rate imitation of RJD2. The elements are all here: "earthy" hip-hop rhythms set to a chain-gang hammer pace, good-timey funk riffs and the dorky Ike-era samples of folkies jabbering about nothing. However, our man surprises with the Bach electro-funk of "Earth Dirt the Champ," the bongo sputters of "King Sucks" and, best of all, the Caterpillar-breakdance jaunt "Beat Down Streets." Hopefully, Conrad will learn from his mistakes.

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