Greatest Story Ever Told

  • Record Label: Motown
  • Release Date: Jul 15, 2008

Mixed or average reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Dismantle, reconstruct, then split, and The Greatest Story Ever Told earns decent marks--it's just hard not to focus on the handful of cuts that point to what could have been.
  2. The Greatest Story would be a stronger statement if it werenâ??t for the conflicting cornerstones of conscientious-rapper soapboxing and standard-issue gangsta themes heâ??s laid at its foundation.
  3. The extremes offer up a portrait of a man far more complex than what we get from many of Banner's peers, and the inventive beats (by Banner, Cool & Dre, Akon and others) add vital life to his gruff flow. But you have to wonder if some of these tracks simply reflect the rapper's desire to be all things to all consumers.
  4. The Wire
    It's a shame that such moments [lyrics that objectify and highlight abuse toward women] can so completely mar an album, as Banner is on sparklingly articulate lyrical form elsewhere. [Sep 2008, p.66]
  5. Entertainment Weekly
    All things considered, we like Banner much better when he's angry. [25 Jul 2008, p.71]
  6. Rather than staying true to political and social roots that got him signed in the first place, David Banner has chosen to mimic what's popular.
  7. Blender
    He tries to atone on the bluesey and somber 'Cadillac on 22's Part 2,' but--like much of this album--the sequel is a downgrade compared to its wrenching and confessional original. [Aug 2008, p.82]
  8. The political commentary could be stronger--"No justice for us blacks/But they send just us to Iraq" is as sharp as it gets--and though Story has got radio-ready appeal, Banner could learn a lesson from his buddy Wayne: Interesting and crowd-pleasing aren't mutually exclusive.
  9. But much of The Greatest Story Ever Told might as well be running down a familiar checklist--guns, rough sex, big cars, club brawls, anti-snitching--and Mr. Banner is running out of variations.
  10. It's angry and compelling, but it's also offset by his indulgence in the worst hip-hop clichés and the stereotypes he often derides.
  11. The beats on Story never quite cohere, and tracks like 'Uncle Swac Interlude,' an endless phone conversation with Banner's drunk uncle, further interrupt the flow.

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