* Prices may differ from that shown
Nelly released "Sweat / Suit" in 2005, a few months after dropping a pair of albums at the same time in 2004. This release compiles the best of both records from the St. Louis rapper.
1. "My Place"
Here was the first hit from the "Suit" album and has Nelly rapping, and has him performing music along with Jaheim, who does all the singing for this piece. As Jaheim's Soul recordings of the past have been of such high quality, I knew that he would come with something special here, and he certainly did. However, at times during this one can tell that Nelly's lyrical talent is far below the standard which should be accepted with him just letting the music play, and filling it up with little words to hide it.
2. "Flap Your Wings"
This was the first track off "Sweat", and from the two albums collectively as Nelly goes back to his strongest style of rapping as it has him performing in a style which is similar to his hit, "Hot In Herre", as it is a big club tune. To go along with this, you have Nelly's tune produced by the top club beat-makers in the game, The Neptunes, who offer a big dance rhythm for the track, allowing for Nelly to flow in a speedy and exciting way.
3. "Play It Off"
Initially used to start the "Suit" album, we get a massive collaboration by Nelly as he gets a chance to rap as Pharrell does the production and singing for him. Although their work rarely comes together, when it does, such as in "Flap Ya Wings" (off "Sweat"), it is always top-quality. The pair work together amazingly, and with the futuristic Neptunes beats, and Pharrell's great falsetto singing, it all came together nicely.
When I first heard this track, I couldn't believe that it was Nelly performing it because it is so out-of-character for him to do such a thing, however, I think that it was a great choice to have him perform in such a way as it has his sound underrated as he it able to follow trends here by rapping on a reserved Crunk beat from Jazzy Pha. It's just what he needed to have him escape from the Pop side which he had been plagued with early on in his career, especially with his second album.
5. "Pretty Toes"
I was extremely impressed by this tune on the album, and it showed a different side to Nelly which I didn't expect to come out. Here Nelly comes with a club-suited track which sounds as if it should be on the other album, "Sweat", as he directs this one to the girls around the world, as he describes his ideal females from the countryside to the cities.
6. "Getcha Getcha"
Finally we get something new out of Nelly and the St. Lunatics, and although it's obvious that Nelly wastes quite a few bars on predictable stuff, this is a strong tune from them. I think that the Dirty Swift & Bruce Waynne production is what inspired this change as they go more a lively and fun tune which would suit Pop audiences as well as general fans of Hip Hop (even in this watered-down form of it).
7. "She Don't Know My Name"
Here you have a big tune which has Jazzy Phizzle return, however, unlike with earlier collabs, he actually sings in this one, and on numerous occasions I've said how much this annoys me. However, if you ignore the painful vocals from Jazzy Pha, you still receive a nice tune from Nelly as he raps along with the West Coast's best rap talent, in the form of Snoop Dogg.
8. "Tilt Ya Head Back"
Here's one of the big singles from the album and has Nelly perform alongside one of the biggest names in Pop, Christina Aguilera, in a track which has him rap in his singing style, which made him stand out earlier on in his career. I thought that although I enjoyed it's tempo and energy, at times Nelly's simply has nothing to say, and so just repeats lines over a few bars.
9. "Nobody Knows"
This is a nice one from Nelly as he works alongside the quality R&B artist, Anthony Hamilton, whose soulful vocals add a new dimension to the album, and one which you wouldn't really expect to find from such a release (since it is from Nelly). I found it to be an unexpected piece of quality within the album, however it didn't have that much to it to make it stand out amongst the rest.
10. "N Dey Say"
It should be quite clear by this point that this album marks a significant change in the approach of Nelly here, and it has him doing raps to things that he would never have done before. here you can tell that he's changed as he uses the beat from Spandau Ballet's "True" for his backing, but I didn't think that it worked at all, especially since Lloyd showed that urban music can make it work with his single "You", which used it just as Nelly does here.
11. "In My Life"
Here you have what has to be some of the best production on the album coming from Kuya Productions, and I expect that this is what won me over here. I found that the additional raps by New York's Mase were another thing which made it appear as if Nelly's material was improving over the course of the album, and in this track.
12. "Over and Over"
There's just so much wrong with this one that I can't find anything good to say about it. This one has Nelly crossover his genre boundaries by performing alongside the country singer Tim McGraw to perform a song which favours the latter musician. However I didn't think that either did this one any justice as it was sang terribly (especially in Nelly's sections) and it just didn't make sense in general.
I would have to say that this album is a big step up on the two separate releases as essentially all of the tracks not used are terrible recordings. However you do find that here quite a few poor one seep through, so it isn't flawless.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 My Place - Nelly, Jaheim
2 Flap Your Wings - Nelly
3 Play It Off - Nelly, Pharrell Williams
4 Na-NaNa-Na - Nelly
5 Pretty Toes - Nelly, Jazze Pha, T.I.
6 Getcha Getcha - Nelly, St. Lunatics
7 She Don't Know My Name - Nelly, Snoop Dogg, Ronald Isley
8 Tilt Ya Head Back - Nelly, Christina Aguilera
9 Nobody Knows - Nelly, Anthony Hamilton
10 N Dey Say - Nelly
11 In My Life - Nelly, Avery Storm, Mase
12 Over and Over - Nelly, Tim McGraw
13 Heart Of A Champion - Nelly, Lincoln University Vocal Ensemble
14 River Don't Runnn - Nelly, Murphy Lee, Stephen Marley