Lil Jon, "Crunk Rock"

Album Review

"The ladies say there ain't enough songs for them to dance to," Atlanta rapper Lil Jon exclaims on "Work It Out" (featuring Pitbull), an aptly upbeat track off his often-delayed new album, "Crunk Rock." And he's right. The set is worth a listen for its high-energy club bangers and colorful guest appearances, but it holds extra baggage. Gratuitous interludes and an overall lack of Lil Jon's rhymes hurt the would-be dance disc. Irresistible booty-shaking anthems "Shots" (featuring LMFAO) and closer "Hey" (featuring 3OH!3) prove Lil Jon's still hip to high-octane production and celebratory lyricism, while the single "Ms. Chocolate" (featruing R. Kelly and Mario) takes a more sensual approach at peaking listeners' interests ("Girl I can't wait to unwrap ya/It's a chocolate fix I'm after"). But things slow down considerably with two shot-heavy interludes and tracks like "On De Grind" (featuring Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley), on which the rapper's vocals are upstaged by the A-list musicians he taps to accompany him. --Melanie Bertoldi