Nelly – 5.0 | Album Review

The sixth studio album by Nelly, 5.0 is probably not as strong as his debut album but is still very much enjoyable. Featuring the likes of Chris Brown, Plies, T.I., T-Pain and Akon, the album begins with Nelly once again claiming to be ‘No. 1’ – but after being away from the music scene for so long, and not having conjured up a number one hit single for several years, I find it a bit over-confident and a little delusional for him to still be trying to hold on to this title.

However, Nelly’s collaborations on the album won’t do him any harm; he reunites with Diddy on ‘1000 stacks’ and again with Kelly Rowland on ‘Gone’, which revisits the magical collaboration that worked so well with ‘Dilemma’ back in 2002. The track uses all the key elements that made the last track a hit, and does not fail. This track could easily be a chart-topper.

‘Move That Body’ could have easily been the best track on the album, however 30 seconds into it and it becomes a concoction of melodies and beats, as it tries too hard to be a club track. For me, I think that there is way too much going on here. This combination of T-Pain and Akon, who feature on the track, should have been a club dream. But sadly it fails. Similarly ‘Broke’ is not a strong track and should perhaps be avoided if possible. The track is very immature and even reflects in the production and lyrics; It took all my strength not to skip the track when Sophie Green sang “I don’t want no broke ni**rs, no, no”. It’s woeful!!!

‘Liv Tonight’, with Keri Hilson, is a super dance track, that took even me by surprise with its European dance style; sounding more like it was re-mixed for the ‘Ministry of Sound’ compilation CD, or on the Venga Boys album, instead of being produced/inspired by Will.i.Am (the pioneer of hip Hop/dance mix). A part of me feels uncomfortable that this track even features on the album, however I found that I couldn’t stop myself from bobbing my head the sound of the beat.

At 36, Nelly seems to have almost lost a part of him during the years, he will never be the same artist who once captured our hearts with his playful charm that got us hooked with ‘Country Grammar’ or trying to pulling our clothes off (not literally) with ‘Hott in Herre’, The album brings us a slightly older, maybe wiser Nelly, but at times I felt a little lost and that maybe Nelly can’t decide to be a grown up or to fall back to what is safe and re-claim former glory…

5.0 is out now [iTunes UK / US; Amazon UK / US]