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  Listen Up! 4/22/03 Listen Up!

Tuesday, Apr. 22

Wyclef Jean, “Masquerade,” Columbia Records. I wish I could like Wyclef Jean more. He seems smart, and he’s eager to expand his music beyond the parameters of strictly hip-hop rules and regulations. But, his rapping leaves me cold, and his thinking outside the box often sounds silly, as when he sings “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” or drags Tom Jones on board for an update of “What’s New Pussycat.” There have been moments on this extremely long CD when I’ve found myself nodding along pleasantly to the music, but mostly I’m not feeling this one. Actually, the bonus track, “Ghetto Racine,” in which Wyclef and another guy go crazy inna dancehall stylee over an electro beat, is pretty cool.

--Steve Pick

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