It's been two years since the release of Nelly's last album, "Brass Knuckles," and up until recently, four years since he had a top 10 hit. But on his new effort, "5.0," the rapper proves he still knows what it takes to make a solid, well-rounded album. The Keri Hilson-assisted "Liv Tonight" and "Move That Body" (featuring self-professed club-goers T-Pain and Akon) are party bangers with hand claps and slinky synthesizers. Elsewhere, "Broke" and "1000 Stacks" (the latter featuring the late Notorious B.I.G. on the hook) are boastful hip-hop tracks that find Nelly showcasing his rap skills over drums. And a Nelly album wouldn't be complete without emo tracks like "Gone" (with Kelly Rowland), which the rapper has dubbed part two of "Dilemma," his 2002 hit duet with Rowland. If the number of guest collaborators on "5.0" wasn't enough, Nelly also pulls in pop fans with hit single "Just a Dream." The 36-year-old artist gives fans the stuff they fell in love with 10 years ago on debut "Country Grammar"-and with a new pop-driven sound, he demonstrates he hasn't lost a beat.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print