Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Building on Whitey Ford's organic folk-pop rap, Eat at Whitey's develops the songwriter's street-style troubadour fixation even further. This time, there's more singing than rapping, and his gruff vocals actually sound stylish, especially on the provocative "Black Jesus" and the memorable "Black Coffee."
  2. Whenever Everlast lays back and spins stories and tall tales on his own, his blend of folk, rock, blues, rap, and pop culture clicks.
  3. With his raw, raspy baritone voice, he paints vivid, usually empathetic pictures within an instrumental context that is rife with refreshing live beats and sharply drawn guitar and keyboard lines.
  4. 80
    The result (smells like the blues, bubbles like funk-rock, burns like hip-hop) is some strange new kinda rock 'n rhyme stew... Eat At Whitey's is like nothing else that's happenin' right now.
  5. And though it's as good as, if not better than, its predecessor, the album's not bowling people over, either. Maybe its rap-folk hybrid is just too much of the same. Or maybe we just can't identify with the first-person "Black Jesus" like we can the third person of yore. Because maybe this album's greatest strength is exactly what's holding it back: the narrative.
  6. An eclectic, intermittently rewarding album of first rate re-creations. But re-creations are all they are, down to Everlast's voice, which is beginning to sound like Redd Foxx's.
  7. An inventively arranged mixture of blues, hip-hop, strings, folk and metal, 'Eat At Whitey's' is like Fun Lovin' Criminals' cameo in The Sopranos: by turns, flash, atmospheric, melancholic, and very masculine.
  8. But for all his self-consciously moral concerns, Everlast doesn't preach; his hard-assed urban observations speak for themselves.
  9. 70
    His gruff voice may have earned him comparisons to Tom Waits and Captain Beefheart in the past, but let's face it: Everlast is treading awfully close to Neil Diamond territory here. Salvation, as always, comes in the grooves. Eat at Whitey's is instrumentally opulent, adding cushioned layers of percussion and vintage keyboards to the familiar blues-hop template that launched "What It's Like."
  10. 70
    A far more sonically consistent and textured work, cushioned in Americana, drenched in soul.... But there's no urgency to this album, which stops looking out at the world and settles in for some serious celebrity navel-gazing. [Nov 2000, p.195]
  11. 60
    Bravado and roleplay being the essence of rock, problems only arise when the real Everlast, a Grammy-winning crossover artiste, rears his head. [Nov. 2000, p.116]
  12. Everlast hints at a hip-hop amalgam of Johnny Cash and Howlin' Wolf, but only when being chased. [Jan 2001, p.88]
  13. 50
    Though Black Jesus and Graves To Dig weld slow-burning hip-hop beats to politically astute lyrics, elsewhere the abundance of self-conscious singing and menopausal guitar noodling sees the album shuffle, uninterestingly, towards the middle of the road.
  14. The rapper's nicotine-scarred voice does sound bluesy, and his raps are serious without being arch like Beck's. The album's sound -- a marriage of classical string arrangements and sparse drum beats -- makes the guitar stomp of his rap-rock peers seem more one-dimensional than ever. But Everlast's blues are one-shaded -- nothing on Eat at Whitey's approaches the grim fatalism of the Geto Boys' "Mind Playin' Tricks on Me," Eminem's "Rock Bottom," or even Snoop Doggy Dogg's "Murder Was the Case."
  15. With deeply average tunes and deeply average rapping throughout, not even an appearance by Carlos Santana on Babylon Feeling can turn things around.
  16. Everlast's pretensions and ambition still outstrip his talent, however, and the distance between the two makes Eat At Whitey's both intriguing and frustrating.... like a defensive tackle trying his hand at ballet, he's far too clumsy and limited a singer and songwriter for the delicate material he attempts.

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