After a six-year recording hiatus, Redman returns to the mike with the engaging and stimulating, yet not particularly memorable, release Red Gone Wild. Languishing for more than a year on the proverbial Def Jam shelf, this album is plagued by the same poor promotion that delayed other recent label releases from the Roots, Method Man, Nas, and Ghostface Killah. Sure, Redman can still ride a beat with the best of them, but the album's production, despite a few big names (Timbaland, Scott Storch, Pete Rock, Erick Sermon), comes off disjointed and does not do justice to his punchline-heavy delivery. The song "Gimmie," which features a laid-back Pete Rock beat that samples Marvin Gaye, vibes well under Redman's often-hilarious rhymes, as does the future Newark, New Jersey, anthem "Dis Iz Brick City." But the disc ultimately suffers from some of the same problems as his prior releases. There are too many long skits, too much reliance on guest stars, and generic marijuana ballads like "Merry Jane" (featuring Snoop and Nate Dogg) and "Blow Treez" (sampling Bob Marley) cropping up across 23 tracks. And with so much time lapsed since the 2001 album Malpractice during which he appeared in questionable tween horror movies and the stoner flick How High it's too bad that Red didn't come out swinging. The ability is there; unfortunately, the execution is not.
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