Swizz Beatz One Man Band Man

The great thing about having a producer in the studio to tailor your music is that they have an ear for the cadences that stick like glue. But problems occur when producers take over everything, including rhyming, and turn albums into a one-long lullaby. One Man Band Man is an aptly titled solo album, only featuring rappers on one song and a remix. Lyrically, Swizz is no better or worse than your average MC, only his voice is too soft to sell the aggression. He makes most of his songs for the club, the exceptions being "The Funeral” and "Take a Picture,” which are easily the most original. "Part of the Plan” starts well, with a vivid depiction of his own death, but goes into anti-playa hater mode too early. Swizz does get some credit, however, for keeping his tracks short and digestible. (Universal Motown)