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Shock Frequency

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Critics' Reviews

amg review
In 1992, A.D.O.R. came out of nowhere with the tasty Pete Rock-produced "Let It All Hang Out" with its irresistible horn loop and tight flow, giving the artist one of the surprise hits of the summer. He then set out to record an album, The Concrete, that was to make good on the early promise, but several years passed with nary another peep from the artist, before Atlantic Records announced in 1995 that they were dropping A.D.O.R. from the label, and with him his proposed album. Disheartened, he formed his own Tru Reign Records in 1996 and a full-length debut, Shock Frequency, finally came out on the label in 1998. It received only mixed (though generally positive) critical notices. A primary reason for the lack of enthusiasm among some critics was a legitimate flaw that gradually surfaces upon listening to the work: namely that, for a record appearing in 1998, Shock Frequency was, well, very 1992. While this alone is not enough to sink the music nor invalidate its numerous pleasures, it does have the effect of sapping some of the album's vibrancy and rendering it irrelevant to an industry that had already passed it by. Duly noted. But it is apparent why A.D.O.R. would have wanted hip-hop fans to hear these songs: not only were they tracked by such heavyweights as Rock, Diamond D., and Clark Kent, but they are also superb by any standard of measurement. Chief among the outstanding tracks is, of course, "Let It All Hang Out," which retains every ounce of its original force, as well as an added sense of staying power that it couldn't possibly have conveyed in 1992. The other Rock songs are nearly its equals, as are the Rock facsimiles "Shock to Bliss" and "Shock Frequency," and Kent's "From the Concrete" is excellent. The rest sags a bit under the weight of those cuts, but Shock Frequency still would have rated higher were it not for its history of bad luck. ~ Stanton Swihart, Rovi
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