Noreaga - N.O.R.E. 
Music Disc Reviews Audio CD
Written by Jason Karsh   
Tuesday, 14 July 1998

Penalty Recordings
| Performance 7 | Sound 7 |

Until this album Noreaga's partner in crime (no pun intended) has always been Kiam 'Capone' Holley; the two teaming up for one 1997's most impressive releases, Capone and Noreaga's, 'The War Report.' Sadly, Capone--in an unfortunate commonality with his namesake--has found his way to prison and Noreaga has been told in no uncertain terms by the State of New York that he, at least for a while, must go at it alone.

So, in an effort to keep Capone's name--as well as his own--in front of an all-too fickle public, Noreaga brings us, 'N.O.R.E.' An album which is painfully compromised in everything that it is, and everything that it is not. For what it contains; it is easily well above average. Tracks such as "Banned From TV," "Body In The Trunk," and a remake/remix of Kool G. Rap's classic "Rikers Island," "40 Island" all beg to be beaten senseless by your system. Yet, all of these songs--perhaps more than coincidentally--feature guest artists (Kool G. Rap, Big Punisher, Nature, Nas, etc.). This is not to suggest that Noreaga is unable to hold down an album on his own, but more to say that as much as Noreaga might miss Capone personally, he misses him just as much on wax. And as good as this album gets, it is this absence that seems to remain long after the album has ended.

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