Brass Knuckles


Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. There’s nothing that’s boldly offensive or immediately dismissible, save a few slight missteps.
  2. On his fifth album, he mostly sticks to that pop-rap formula, cranking his distinctly melodic flow to hyper-speeds and playing the good-natured hedonist on cuts like 'Party People.' But when he tries to come off hard on a handful of Dirty South brawlers, he ends up sounding generic
  3. Nelly's latest offering is hopefully the beginning of the renaissance of an artist who most definitely was starting to look guilty of selling out.
  4. It’s sure not a knockout, but it’s his hardest-hitting album yet. Just don’t call it a comeback.
  5. Brass Knuckles sounds less like the product of a fighter who's ready to go back into the ring than one who's stalling for time.
  6. Brass Knuckles is 14 songs long. All of them could be singles. None of them could be hits.
  7. Skeptics might wonder if the sprawling guest list is an admission of fading commercial prowess. So, it's to the MC's credit that Brass Knuckles still feels like a party.
  8. Airplay or not, however, he's also sounding seriously dated.
  9. 50
    This is what Nelly's Brass Knuckles is best summarized as...a club jam.
  10. The real problem, though, isn't the music (accomplished and catchy enough for distracted listening), nor is it Nelly's own verses (more stylish than substantive, as always). Rather, it's that a dedicated capitalist--hear his "Buy me the mall" manifesto on 'Hold Up'--is using a business model that's on its way to extinction.
  11. Put a little pop in your life and what you'll discover is that underneath the materialistic veneer Nelly's got a good delivery, sharp lyrics and impeccable breath control, which would make him #1 no matter WHERE he was from.
  12. 70
    Brass Knuckles is standard Nelly fare.

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