The Ecleftic 2 Sides II a Book

  • Record Label: Sony
  • Release Date: Aug 22, 2000

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 21
  2. Negative: 2 out of 21
  1. He sings roughly but warmly, and makes up as many hooks as he samples...
  2. There will be few albums released this year that are as exciting, artistic, and, yes, eclectic as this one, and it's scary to think of what Wyclef will be capable of when he gets all of the elements in their perfect proportions.
  3. 90
    Although everything on The Ecleftic might not be for everybody, make no mistake, this album is ahead of its time. Forget about Britney Spears... Wyclef's done it again!
  4. The album finds Jean refining his multi culti aesthetic, crafting straight up rock and reggae jams, creating invigorating, cliché free rap songs, throwing disparate musical elements together at every turn...
  5. 80
    He's still slicing and dicing styles like this week's challenger on Iron Chef, but this time he's got some serious guest firepower to back up these cross-cultural forays.
  6. The most pleasingly direct yet musically adventurous hip-hop long-player you're likely to hear all year.
  7. Even when Jean missteps, as on the heavy-handed "Diallo," he missteps in the most interesting way possible, pushing his music into weird and exciting directions that work more often than not.
  8. Loaded with pop culture commentary and often directly naming social names, The Ecleftic is sure to stir up some emotions from not only the famous, but from the general public as well.
  9. Actually, all through this, his second solo disc, Wyclef goes for skin-deep musical ideas.... Still, most of Wyclef's little ideas are terrific.
    Packed to the brim with all sorts of surprising twists and turns, Jean's Ecleftic plays like a cheeky earful of the multi-culti future of hip-hop.
  11. 80
    [A] tighter, indigo-deeper, more vision cohesive joint than its predecessor.
  12. Although not as cohesive as Jean's "Carnival," "The Ecleftic" spins a compelling tale of a hip-hop superstar who defies convention.
  13. Wyclef seems to reinvent himself for the worse on his sophomore effort. In place of his trademark iconoclasm, he delivers some good old-fashioned conformity in a bid to renew his street-credibility card... Thankfully, 'Clef strikes a balance with some outstanding selections, starting with the acoustically driven ballads "Diallo," "911" and "Something About Mary", which show that Wyclef armed with a guitar is still more powerful than an army of producers strapped with drum machines.... It's enough to make The Ecleftic a good but not grand album, one that finds Wyclef's vision falling short of his abilities.
  14. Select
    The Mary J. Blige duet '911' and dope ode 'Homegrown' confirm his knack for reggae-inflected hits. [Sep 2000, p.108]
  15. A mammoth indulgence, an 80-minute justification of his own ill-defined status.
  16. So while Ecleftic ain't wack, it's no carnival. It realizes the B-boy boho dream much better than caricaturist "hiphop metal" acts, but Clef served our interests much better last time at bat.
  17. The Ecleftic' just tries to please too many people, open up too many markets, and simply ends up diluting the sound in which it purports to be rooted.
  18. At his best, Jean writes great tunes that don't give a stuff for anyone else's criteria of cool, but amid the overlong skits/underlong songs of Ecleftic, and despite the super-silly brilliance of It Doesn't Matter, the lasting impression is of a talent at sea, cut off from his roots and uncertain of the path ahead.
  19. The disc lacks the coherent vision that would have made the best argument for Clef's claims.
  20. True eclectics like De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest seek out samples and inspiration -- in jazz, electronic music, even rock -- while Jean merely traffics in superficial gloss.
  21. 20
    By the time one gets to the final track, a head-scratching take on Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here," the overall effect is a decidedly uncomfortable numbness.

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