PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.
Music

Eve: Lip Lock

Eve's back. Stay out of her way.


Eve

Lip Lock

Label: From the Ribs Music
US Release Date: 2013-05-14
UK Release Date: 2013-05-14
Amazon
iTunes

Eve’s been out of the album game for a while, and she’s been storing up various forms of fiery energy during her time off. A full-length entitled Here I Am was going to come out in 2007, but a couple singles didn’t do well, and like too many albums, Eve’s got repeatedly delayed by her label (and also renamed). Lip Lock marks her first official long-player since 2002, and she feels that she’s got something to prove, some territory to (re)stake out -- she practically explodes in a dizzying series of boasts and warnings.

Eve came up in the late '90s as the first lady of the Ruff Ryders, at a time when female rappers were beginning to break through to the top of the charts. She had the top producers in her corner, working with the reliably heavy-hitting sounds of Dr. Dre and the lurching funk of the Neptunes. DMX showed up on her songs as a sparring partner, and she collaborated with No Doubt and Alicia Keys. Eve was fiery then too, but after all, one of her biggest hits was "Let Me Blow Ya Mind", not "I Am Blowing Your Mind" or "Your Mind Is Blown".

On Lip Lock, Eve starts with the basics, just naked declarations of her power and international prestige -- "the queen is on the throne/ world-wide my name is known/ stay on top no touching me," or "I live up at the top so you keep climbing/ sit your ass down, ‘cause class is now in session."

As the album progresses, she gets more intricate, and more violent: "yeah that’s right I’m badder than ‘em/ E-V-E a cataclysm/ blow ‘em out the fucking water/ kill ‘em dead ‘cause it’s slaughter." She takes a break from the barrage of untouchability proclamations at one point, on "Forgive Me", but only to apologize for her greatness. She’s"“too sexy in the morning time," which distracts her man, "sorry, for being so fly.” The peak comes on "Grind Or Die", when Eve raps "Call the police because I’m murdering beats," and then, "my albums are the shit, your career never farted."

When she’s not intimidating her naysayers, Eve engages in some lightweight life-coaching. On "Make It Out This Town", she’s rapping about having the self-confidence to escape, "just wanna fly above it all, see where you can land/ Know that you can do it on your own cause you can/ Yeah, never forget this is your life/ Your path, your dream, this is your fight."

Several guests appear on the album, but they don’t make much of an impression since it’s hard to match Eve’s energy. We get Snoop Dogg (not rolling as a lion apparently), Pusha T, Juicy J (formerly of Three Six Mafia), and Missy Elliot, who is hopefully getting back into the business of being Supa Dupa Fly. None of Eve’s old Ruff Ryding comrades show up. One of the most intriguing guests is Dawn Richard, whose been making some appealingly off kilter R&B lately. They work together on "Keep Me From You", one of the albums most explicitly dance tunes, which shoots for euphoria: "I don’t care what they say, I’m in love."

Eve tries to sound current -- Lip Lock is consistently dense with electronics that nod to today’s pop-scape. No Neptunes and Dre here, but plenty of low frequency throbbing and high-pitched glitch noises. Eve doesn’t reach for the dance floor often, but this is hip-hop that acknowledges EDM and dub-step. There are a few songs that sound very different from the rest and instantly seem like outliers. "Make It Out This Town", with a cloying hook from Gabe Saporta of the band Cobra Starship, centers on a guitar lick that sounds almost alien next to the rest of the material.

So Eve hits her marks, warns off competitors and provides encouragement where it’s needed, all over a state of the art electronic sound. A cataclysm? Not quite. But any time an artist survives label hiccups, it’s a small victory.

Eve
6

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.

Film

15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.

Music

Sixteen Years Later Wayne Payne Follows Up His Debut

Waylon Payne details a journey from addiction to redemption on Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me, his first album since his 2004 debut.

Music

Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.

Music

Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.

Music

Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.

Music

Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.

Film

The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.

Music

British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.

Film

Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.

Music

​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.

Music

The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.

Music

Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language Digs Deep Into the Jazz Quartet Format with 'A Time and a Place'

Restless tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi runs his four-piece combo through some thrilling jazz excursions on a fascinating new album, A Time and a Place.

Television

How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.

Music

Floodlights' 'From a View' Is Classicist Antipodal Indie Guitar Pop

Aussie indie rockers, Floodlights' debut From a View is a very cleanly, crisply-produced and mixed collection of shambolic, do-it-yourself indie guitar music.

Music

CF Watkins Embraces a Cool, Sophisticated Twang on 'Babygirl'

CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.

Music

Helena Deland Suggests Imagination Is More Rewarding Than Reality on 'Something New'

Canadian singer-songwriter Helena Deland's first full-length release Someone New reveals her considerable creative talents.

Music

While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.