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Since the Last Time 

CD Review: ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT

The Deal: You may not have heard from them in a while, but the happy hip-hoppers are back.

The Good: The group's music hasn't changed much over the years, though they broke up back in 1996. They still touch soul, funk and R&B while Speech spits rhymes that generally have a positive message. You can easily hear an influence of Sly & The Family Stone that is still present in their music. The album's opening, title track addresses the obvious return of the band and where they've been "Since the Last Time." "How Far is Heaven" gets some lyrical help in a reggae style, while using music from Los Lonely Boys' hit song. They make good use of multiple vocalists, while Speech is still sounds like the driving force.

The Bad: The group made a brief appearance on the TV show Hit Me Baby One More Time in the summer of 2005, which probably didn't help their credibility. Fitting in a reference to Woody from Toy Story 2 – on the title track – is that good or bad?

The Verdict: A positive groove flows throughout the 12 tracks. It's a respectable effort for a comeback album – showing growth and, pardon the pun, development. While it doesn't quite match the strength of their debut, it's not one to be tossed aside so easily.

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